Pages: 256
Subject: Philosophy
Series: Beginner's Guides
Imprint: Oneworld


A Beginner's Guide

Peter Cave

A bestselling thinker combines theory and practice in this essential primer to the most popular branch of philosophy

The Book

Should we aim to maximize happiness? Are there characteristics that we should foster within ourselves? Why is it important to act morally? From the ancient Greeks to Sartre, from utilitarianism to the categorical imperative, Ethics: A Beginner's Guide presents this vital topic of philosophy via its most influential thinkers and theories.

With characteristic wit, philosopher Peter Cave steers us around well known and not-so-well known ethical traps - in the private sphere, in community life, and in relation to God and religion.

As well as a guide to ongoing theoretical debates, Cave shows how the discipline helps us to confront topical controversies including those of the environment, abortion, and animal welfare. For anyone who questions how we ought to live, there is no better introduction to ethics and how it relates to twenty-first-century society.

Additional Information

Subject Philosophy
Series Beginner's Guides
Pages 256
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Peter Cave lectures in philosophy for The Open University and New York University (London). He is the author of eight books on philosophy, making it accessible to a wide audience, including the bestselling Can a Robot be Human?: 33 Perplexing Philosophy Puzzles.


“Rich, comprehensive and provocative, with illustrative examples that are original and stimulating… altogether a fine and authoritative introduction to the subject.”

- Michael Clark – Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Nottingham

“A must-read. It is thorough and complete, yet always accessible and entertaining, written in Cave’s signature sharp style. No matter what your background, this book will inform and challenge you – just as moral philosophizing should.”

- Andrew Pessin – Professor of Philosophy, Connecticut College

“Readable and entertaining… With characteristic verve, Peter Cave surveys a wide range of topics and challenges readers to think their way through complex moral problems. For those seeking to make sense of life’s dilemmas, as well as for students enrolled in philosophy courses, this is an ideal guide.”

- Dan Cohn-Sherbok – Professor Emeritus of Judaism, University of Wales

"A clear, comprehensive, and witty tour of the terrain.”

- William Irwin – Professor of Philosophy, King’s College Pennsylvania

"Lucid, witty, erudite, and wise. This is more than a brilliant survey of ethical theories: it is an invitation to reflect on your life and to challenge your own settled views.” 

- Raymond Tallis – author and philosopher

"An excellent primer. Highly recommended!”

- A. C. Grayling

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