Being Good A Short Introduction To Ethics By Simon Blackburn. Topics utyutyu. Collectionopensource. LanguageEnglish. ytutyu. Identifier. Simon Blackburn. Cambridge University. Abstract. This is a very short introduction to ethics. It divides into three parts: first, introducing and discussing reasons for. Writing with wit and elegance, Simon Blackburn tackles such questions in this lively look at ethics, highlighting the complications and doubts and troubling.
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Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics by Simon Blackburn; 4 editions; First published in ; Subjects: In library, Ethik, Accessible book, Einführung. ethics a very short introduction simon blackburn pdf. Being Good has ratings and 47 reviews. Riku said: Slowly working my way through. Whether it is a matter of giving to charity, or sticking to duty, or insisting on our rights, we can be confused, or be paralysed by the fear that our principles are.
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An Introduction to Ethics. Paperback Verified download. My book review of Being Good: The book is about the beginning of ethics and its foundation. The author wanted to give the reader some threats to ethics, some ideas of ethics, the background and foundation for ethics. He wanted to put his own spin on ethics plus mix in the views of some of the greatest philosophers in our history.
The work is mostly written from the author's point of view, but he does often offer the view of other philosophers and ordinary people.
The author did not try to convince the reader on any of his views; he only wanted to state his opinion and that of other scholars. The general field for the book is ethics which the title suggests.
The intended audience is the average person interested in understanding the legacy of ethics. The author's writing style is very informal. He does not use a lot of words that normal people would not understand.
The book is organized into three parts, part one is titled the Seven Threats to Ethics, part two is titled Some Ethical Ideas and part three is titled Foundations. I think the book is very well organized.
Being Good A Short Introduction To Ethics By Simon Blackburn
It starts out by explaining ethics and then goes into some ethical ideas by introducing the thoughts of other philosophers and gives you the foundations by which you should stand on your ethics. The author's style of writing does fit his intended audience. The chapters seem to flow in chronological order.
The separation of the three parts of the book really helps the reader understand what is coming next. You can get a sense from reading the chapter that you are currently reading on what is coming next plus the author makes references to what will be covered in upcoming chapters.
The book did not change the way I thought about things before I read it. I do not think this was the author's intent. I thought the examples that the author gave about the Old Testament of the Bible was interesting.
In the Old Testament animals were mistreated, children were mistreated, people were allowed to be enslaved, and the mistreatment of women.
The author went on to discuss how the New Testament was more compassionate. He stated that rules are different to different people based on their teachings and the society that they live in. The author did make one point that made me change a saying that I often say, "When in Rome do as the Romans". The author asked if the Romans were doing something nasty, am I supposed to do it too. The book was interesting. It covered many aspects of ethics and gave a general background.
The book did not focus on one subject concerning ethics. I have never read a book that was completely about ethics. The author did keep my interest. The one thing that puzzled me about the author was the way the author talked about women. Whenever he gave a negative example about something he would use "she", but when he was using a positive example he would never say she. The author discussed that there were fewer women in countries like China and India, but based on the numbers and statistics there should be more women in those society.
In summary the book was interesting reading. The author did discuss current issues like abortion, but did not state which side of the debate he was on. The author's goal was to give the reader a quick background on ethics from the beginning to its foundation. I think the author succeed in his goal.
Another good point that the author made was that death was the greatest mystery, but if you believed in life after death there was no need to fear death.
Overall this was a very good book to read. It kept my interest which is not easy to do. Hardcover Verified download.
If you want to have a summary of the foundation of philosophical ideas on ethics, a must read.
Ethics a Very Short Introduction Simon Blackburn PDF
One person found this helpful. site Edition Verified download. Excellent, easy to read introduction to the field of ethics, theories and issues. Study this book. Should be required study for everyone.
Blackburn covers most of moral philosophy and infuses his own views as well, which is better than a plain history ofphikosophy. Blackburn's book is a great introduction to ethics for people who want to learn about the subject but don't know where to start. It's also a great read for those considering a philosophy major. It should be noted that Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics contains the same content as Ethics: A Very Short Introduction by the same author.
New wrapping, that's all. Other than that, it is an extremely good and concise overview of ethics. See all 46 reviews. site Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.
Learn more about site Giveaway. This item: Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics. Set up a giveaway. What other items do customers download after viewing this item? Rebecca Skloot. On the other is the problem that the theory remains unsatisfying, even if not circular.
It is not question begging to suspect that something is awry, since one advocating this argument gives the appearance of being impossible to satisfy.
Blackburn takes the argument to show not that no theory of the modal whatever is adequate but only that no truth-conditional, non-projectivist, theory is adequate. Since the first horn of the dilemma is a circularitylike problem, I will begin by examining when circularity is a problem.
Certainly, any theory that purports to be an illuminating conceptual analysis is a failure if the analysans uses the very concept to be analysed. Circularity in analyses, like circularity in arguments, is not a simple, straightforward matter though.
One might say that an argument is circular if the conclusion appears as a premise in its own proof. This account of circularity expresses at least a sufficient condition for a kind of circularity in argument that undermines the effectiveness of the argument.
It is most dubious, though, as a statement of conditions that are both necessary and sufficient for circularity. One would be hard pressed to find any argument proposed by a reputable philosopher that failed because its proponent failed to spot the conclusion hiding, explicitly, among the premises.
Likewise, analyses rarely, if ever, fail because the very concept to be analyzed was used in the analysis. In analyses, it is more likely that one concept is analysed in terms of others and the crucial concepts in the analysandum and the analysans form a tightly-knit family of concepts and, furthermore, the legitimacy of the entire family is the matter of philosophical dispute.
To say that A is necessary if and only if it is not possible that not-A is certainly to avoid the first, simple-minded, kind of circularity and it would be uncharitable to think that the circularity at issue was one so easily avoided. So, if our theory of the modal is to be a conceptual analysis and if the issue is whether the entire family of modal concepts is philosophically respectable, then the standard analysis of necessity in terms of possibility and negation that one finds in textbooks is clearly inadequate.
Though the explicit rationale for taking philosophy to be conceptual analysis was the elimination of metaphysics and all intellectual things insufficiently answerable to experience, the focus on metaphysics, ethics, and religious belief obscured the primary value that was to be maximized via conceptual analysis, i. Furthermore, one important means of gaining agreement to a metaphysical claim by way of rational persuasion was unavailable.
Consequently, metaphysics gave the appearance of being unmoored, of being the project of constructing systems with no generally-accepted means of adjudicating between them. If philosophical claims are about the interrelations among concepts, and if conceptual content is sufficiently transparent, then with the guidance of an expert philosopher we could come to see that some philosophical claims deserved our assent and others did not.
The project of analysis was gradually replaced, partly because of critiques of the ideological foundations of conceptual analysis [Quine ] and partly, I suspect, because fewer issues were settled than one might have expected if conceptual content were sufficiently transparent to us.
It was no longer what the content of a concept was. Perhaps our concepts are not well-behaved, or they are poorly structured, or they are otherwise inadequate for all of our intellectual endeavours. No matter. We are really interested in what it is for two events or facts to be causally related, or what it is to have rights by nature, or what it is to know something.
Whether the relevant information has ever been packed into our concepts is irrelevant, if upon investigation we could arrive at an acceptable theory of the relevant phenomenon.
If the offending theory is supposed by its proponents to be a conceptual analysis, then the charge of circularity is relevant. If the theory is not intended as a conceptual analysis and if it is to be a theory of what it is, in reality, for something to be necessary, then some further account of a different defect, perhaps so analogous to the two kinds of circularity canvassed above that it deserves the same name, must be given.
Conceptual Projects 14Suppose the project is to legitimize the use of the family of modal notions that includes the notions of necessity, possibility, contingency, and impossibility. It is a commonplace now to concede that these notions form a family of inter-definable notions, so long as we have purely logical notions like negation to hand.
Because of their inter-definability, it is difficult, if not impossible, to maintain that necessity is the conceptually fundamental member of the family while the others are defined in terms of it. If the task of a theory of the modal is to provide a route into understanding one concept in terms of others that can be understood prior to the concept analysed, then perhaps the phenomenon of inter-definability prevents success.
One either has mastery of all members of that modal family or of none at all. Blackburn, however, is not concerned with the success of this project. He objects neither that he or others fail to understand the concepts nor that understanding does not begin with a single conceptual ancestor for the rest of the family.
He takes for granted that we have the appropriate understanding, however it is achieved. His concern is the substance behind our sensible and competent use of the concepts, and for that he provides his quasirealist alternative. So, while the dilemma he poses would be sufficient to prevent success in completing this kind of task, this task is not his target.
That structure is well-founded, if it has foundations, i. If it is assumed that the modal structure is a superstructure, then the modal superstructure requires non-modal foundations. On such a picture, the family of inter-definable concepts is inadequate to supply these foundations, since each member of the family is part of the superstructure.
Why not, rather, think that it is part of the foundations of any sophisticated conceptual structure? If modal concepts are not definable in terms of non-modal concepts, that is evidence that when we reach those concepts we have reached conceptual bedrock. If so, then the inter-definability of modal concepts is unsurprising.
Consider Euclidean geometry.
Point, line segment, line, plane. Pick one and with uncontroversial resources, the others can be defined. These four concepts form a tightly-knit family of inter-definable notions. No philosopher of mathematics, however, is exercised over the legitimacy over Euclidean geometry on the basis of the inter-definability of these concepts. Instead, all take the family to form part of the conceptual basis for geometry. It is an interesting question how one can come to grasp concepts that form a small conceptual circle, but the geometry case demonstrates that whether we provide a satisfactory theory of how this is done, the lack of such a theory in no way provides grounds for thinking that the phenomenon does not occur.
It manifestly does and all parties find this so obvious in the case of fundamental geometric concepts that the issue is rarely raised. Modalists look at this horn and see not only nothing troubling, but they also see nothing surprising. This horn of the dilemma, then, is inadequate by itself. Were the horn supplemented with some further considerations, it might form part of an overall basis for rejecting modalism in particular and truth conditional theories of modality in general.
Perhaps the considerations that motivated the early Analytic philosophers could be invoked here and arguments could be given that there is too little agreement on modal matters to think that we employ modal concepts to good effect for expressing truths.
Perhaps, there is no good modal epistemology that could form part of an overall modalist framework. Perhaps our use of modal discourse fails to show the signs of the kind of truth and objectivity that the typical modalist wants [Wright ]. His dilemma is supposed to be sufficient to see off of any truth conditional theory of modality, even one that takes modal notions as enabling us to express basic features of the world.
Once we were to have seen that there is something deeply misguided by the entire truth conditional approach, we were to be open to the quasi-realist alternative. Were we to go no further, we have grounds for thinking that—so far as Blackburn has argued—there are at least two going alternatives in the theory of modality: modalism and quasi-realism.
Non-Conceptual Projects 18Given the kinds of theories that Blackburn must have had in mind, it is clear that those theories were not really intended as conceptual analyses. David Lewis made clear that his project was not conceptual analysis [Lewis, ]. If it had been he would not have relied as he did on inference to the best explanation as the main means of providing warrant for his version of the ontology of a plurality of concrete worlds.
Lewis recommended using inference to the best explanation to justify his theory partly because it showed philosophical justification to be similar to the means of justification used by scientists. This parallel with scientific justification could not have been maintained plausibly had Lewis thought his project to be that of the conceptual analyst.
Whereas conceptual analysis is the pursuit of a set of concepts that means precisely what that to be analysed means, inference to the best explanation is meant as an evidence-providing exercise that, if successful, raises the probability of the conclusion which articulates that which is to be the best explanation for the phenomena reported in the premises of the inference.
Perhaps the circularity is not really conceptual, but metaphysical. Not just any old set of worlds will do. Blackburn does not make this particular point explicitly, though something like it has been made in [Lycan ], [McGinn ], and [Shalkowski ].
If there were impossible concrete worlds or if the plurality were missing some worlds that are possible, then the analysis would not be extensionally adequate.
Ruling out such states of the plurality, perhaps, could be done only after one had accepted the general Lewis-style account. Likewise, inferring that it is necessary that A from the premise that it is necessary that A will never lead one from truth to falsity.
So, what is the problem supposed to be? The faulty analysis need not be false and the faulty argument need not lead to a conclusion that is false. A necessary condition for an argument being persuasive is that one believes the premises and understands that the premises provide good grounds for the conclusion.
Acceptance of the conclusion needs to be on the basis of a prior acceptance of the premises. A circular argument prevents this priority condition on rational persuasion from obtaining.
Hence, circularity is an argumentative defect and the defect is epistemic. A circular argument fails to impart entitlement to embrace the conclusion to one who accepts the conclusion on the basis of that argument. The schematic theory is that it is necessary that A if and only if F, for some non-modal F. Any defence of this theory will either make plain that F is sufficient for the necessity of A by way of circularity, or else the argument will fail to demonstrate that A really is necessary in virtue of F.
The strategy was to specify things for which philosophers want theories, show that if the thesis about a plurality of worlds were true, we could provide a single, unified theory of those things. Certainly, there are competing theories for the truth conditions of modal claims, the semantics for counterfactual conditionals, the natures of properties and propositions, etc.
Each of those competing theories is, however, a single-issue theory. As scientists take theoretical unification as a mark of scientific truth, so Lewis takes philosophical unification as a mark of philosophical truth.The Unwinding: A Very Short Introduction. Simon Critchley - - Oxford University Press. King Nomos rules again. So, if our theory of the modal is to be a conceptual analysis and if the issue is whether the entire family of modal concepts is philosophically respectable, then the standard analysis of necessity in terms of possibility and negation that one finds in textbooks is clearly inadequate.
On such a picture, the family of inter-definable concepts is inadequate to supply these foundations, since each member of the family is part of the superstructure.
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