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Posted April 7, 2013
I¿ve read several books as an adult that I very much regret not
I’ve read several books as an adult that I very much regret not having encountered as an adolescent, and this is one of them. Prof. Rachels gives a concise and lucid description of the key ideas of western morality and ethics, presenting arguments from a variety of perspectives for each concept. In doing so, he sets the stage for the reader to take up the arguments by themselves or with others. Sections of the book deal with the pros and cons of cultural relativism (the idea that we shouldn’t judge the values of others), religious morality (guidance from divinities), selfishness (watch out for number one), utilitarianism (the best good for the most people), duty (Kant’s categorical imperative), feminism (do men and women have different, albeit equally important, values?) and the role of social contracts. Although Prof. Rachels surveys the history of western thought on these topics it was telling that he began with Socrates (quoting from Plato’s ‘The Republic’, “We are discussing no small matter, but how we ought to live”) and ends with a modified concept of virtues as first discussed in Aristotle’s ‘Nicomachean Ethics’. So it seems we still have a lot to learn from the ancient Greeks.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 30, 2014
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