Benn stimulates a concern for moral discourse through an initial discussion of moral objectivity and relativism, a central problem for ethical theory as well as one of the most immediate and practical concerns our contemporary world. He suggests that most of the arguments offered support of relativism are really arguments for tolerance and elucidates the crucial distinction and its implications. His emphasis on showing the reader how to think critically about the issues is brought to bear on key moral concepts throughout the book. Free will and determinism, pleasure and happiness, reasons and causes, authority, contracts, and rationality are examined with insight and clarity.
Benn's elegant and perceptive treatment makes Ethics an ideal text for undergraduate courses. The guides to further reading provided each chapter help the reader pursue interesting topics and facilitate using the book conjunction with primary sources.