Writing with wit and elegance, Simon Blackburn tackles the basic questions of ethics in this lively book, highlighting the complications and troubling issues that spring from the very simple question of how we ought to live. Blackburn dissects the many common reasons for why we are skeptical about ethics. Drawing on examples from history, politics, religion and everyday personal experience, he shows how cynicism and self-consciousness can paralyze us into considering ethics a hopeless pursuit. He assures us that ethics is neither futile nor irrelevant, but an intimate part of the most important issues of living--of birth, death, happiness, desire, freedom, pleasure, and justice. Indeed, from moral dilemmas about abortion and euthanasia, to our obsession with personal rights, to our longing for a sense of meaning in life, our everyday struggles are rife with ethical issues. Blackburn distills the arguments of Hume, Kant and Aristotle down to their essences, to underscore the timeless relevance of our voice of conscience, the pitfalls of complacency, and our concerns about truth, knowledge and human progress.
Blackburn's rare combination of depth, rigor, and sparkling prose, along with his distinguished ranking among contemporary philosophers, markBeing Good
as an important statement on our current disenchantment with ethics. It challenges us to take a more thoughtful reading of our ethical climate and to ponder more carefully our own standards of behavior.
'a first rate and accessible guide which tackles the huge, perpetual questions' * Nottingham Evaning Post * 'sparklingly clear' * Guardian * 'enjoyable and extremely readable . . . Blackburn . . . is breezy, helpful, reassuring' * The Philosopher's Magazine * Good clearheaded stuff * Ted Honderich Times 21/03/01 * always lively and never simplistic * Waterstone's Quarterly January 2002 * But for anyone wondering how big questions have bothered us over the years, this witty, rigorous book fills in the gaps. * PLAY, The Times, 02/03/2002 * full of good sense * Sunday Times 21/04/2002 * Review from previous edition Simon Blackburn's short book takes the big moral questions head on and does so brilliantly. . . a witty, vivid writer with an enviable popular touch . . . this is a wonderfully enlightening book. * Ben Rogers, Sunday Telegraph, March 25 2001 *