Philosophy books tend to get a bad press for being dense, obtuse, irrelevant and hard to follow. Blackburn avoids this charge by writing in a clear style, and explaining the concepts he introduces in simple language.
This is an enjoyable introduction for the layman or the student just starting off in philosophy, and covers some of the interesting ethical questions that have gripped, and will continue to do so, anyone with a conscience.
The text divides into three parts - a discussion of skepticism about ethics, then looking at classic themes (birth, freedom, desire etc.,), and then looking at the results of those who have tried to create a solid foundation to ethics (e.g. the Aristotelian view).
As ever with a book of this size, it may raise more questions than it answers, and you don't get the benefit of the author in your living room to argue with when he makes the odd sweeping statement with which you disagree. But all in all, this is an interesting introduction to the subject.
Ethics may seem irrelevant to many, but are there many more fundamental questions than 'how ought I to live my life?' and does it make sense to say 'I should live my life in a certain way?' - and on what basis can I work this out. An interesting book and a good coffee table read.
Being Good: A Short Introduction To Ethics
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