philosophy and ethics

Latest book!

ethics for life

Explore the moral issues and arguments that direct our lives, express our values, and shape our future.

Ethics for Life, an extensively revised 6th edition of my original Teach Yourself Ethics title, will be available in October 2018!

In addition to giving a broad introduction to Ethics, this book - following Philosophy for Life, published last year - gives the subject a personal edge, exploring why Ethics matters to us as individuals.

Click the cover for more details.

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eastern phil

This website offers material on philosophy, religion and ethics, notes for students and examples of my travel photography. Please come and take a look around! 

notesIf you are looking for free notes for students and teachers, start here...

booksor here for my range of books on philosophy, religion and ethics.


Remember them - 100 years on - and weep that their's was not the war to end all war, as they hoped.

Listen in, but watch out!

John Murray learning / Teach Yourself have produced a Philosophy Masterclass audiobook. Half of it is taken straight from my Philosophy for Life title - so if you've read the book, you might not want to get the audiobook.

However, it also offers material from Mark Vernon, and if you click on the sample on Amazon, you will hear most of the introduction to Philosophy for Life, beautifully read, for nothing!


bagginiHow the World Thinks

by Julian Baggini

Click the cover to see my review of Julian Baggini's very useful book for those exploring beyond Western Philosophy.




In June 1916, two remarkable religious thinkers found themselves on opposite sides of the battle of Verdun; for both the experience was uniquely formative, but they responded to it very differently. It transformed their ideas of God, their careers and their lives.

A German Lutheran chaplain and a French Jesuit stretcher bearer, although separated by only a few hundred yards of mud and barbed wire, tried to cope with, and make sense of, that horror of death and destruction on an unprecedented scale. They – Paul Tillich and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin – reflect a century of thinking about religion, politics, humanism, existential angst and the global future.

It's the story of two men and their struggles with religious belief, but also of the whole way in which ideas about God and religion have been shaped and re-shaped during the last hundred years. Paperback @ £7.99 / $11.50 | Kindle ebook @ £1.99 / $2.99

Click here for more information and to order your copy.

Pause for thought...

Berlin holocaust memorialIn the heart of Berlin, near the Brandenberg Gate, stands the Holocaust Memorial. At first, it seems almost innocent - just an area filled with solid grey blocks of stone - and on the edge the blocks are just a couple of feet tall. Some passers-by were sitting on them when I arrived; a family stopped to picnic. But, between them, paths lead you gradually downwards, and as you walk, so the normal sights and sounds of the city become more remote. The blocks reach above your head and you find youself drawn into canyons of menacing shadow. Yet, at any point, you can glance back and see light and colour in the distance. People criss-cross your path, appearing and disappearing between the blocks. Then, as you approach the centre, you recognise just how deep and menacing it is; the sheer scale of what you are drawn into is numbing. Sucked down out of ordinary life into this dark place, yet with the ordinary tantalisingly in sight, the experience induces the sickening chill of remembering the murdered Jews of Europe.

Philosophy for Life

Phil for lifeFrom the publisher's publicity...

Philosophy For Life is the essential introduction to the history of Western thought, covering key thinkers, both ancient and modern, and the major branches of philosophy. But more than that, it is a toolkit for developing new insights into the world we live in.

In Philosophy For Life you will develop your own critical and creative thinking by exploring the key ideas in Western Philosophy and the arguments that continue to shape our world.

More information on this title...

Its first review on Amazon (from a 'Top 500 Reviewer', unknown to me) concludes:

'Mel Thompson's clearly written and intellectually stimulating book is a superb introduction which should appeal to the general reader as well as students of philosophy.'

EssexInspired by the memory of this year's summer in Britain, or prefer somewhere cooler? Click an image to see more of my travel photography...

Iceland Norway




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