ethics top

mugFundamental to living the good life in every sense, ethics is the most relevant of all subjects.  But it is always moving on; the theories and principles may remain the same, but the issues and their relative importance are always changing, challenging us to think again about moral questions.

Aquinas'In terms of secular ethics, Aquinas embraced Aristotle and strangled him at the same time!'

To see my views on Natural Law, written for A-level students and originally published in Dialogue, click here. And for a general introduction to Natural Law click here. (The image shows Aquinas practising his strangle-hold!)

Here are notes on two ethical theories that have dominated much modern discussion:

Kant's Ethical Theory, Utilitarianism,

Here's a general introduction to the challenge posed by Logical Positivism, the resulting theories of emotivism and prescriptivism, and what ethical language is about generally:

Meta Ethics

Und ethicsEthics for life Ethical theory

Your basic introductions to the subject.

From an Amazon review of the earlier edition - Understand Ethics:

'A great book either to dip into or to read cover-to-cover. The sheer clarity and accessibility of the language (and hence of the descriptions of complex concepts) never fails to amaze me.'

And it is also available as Ethics for Life, with an up-dated text and a personal twist. Just click either cover for more details.

And for students who want a straightforward but substantial outline of the main ethical theories, this is my new edition of the textbook originally published by Hodder Education and used by thousands of A-level students.

Available as a paperback or e-book, from only £1.99 or $2.99. Click the cover for more details.

trolleyThought Experiments in Ethics

Fed up with diverting trolleys, pushing fat men off bridges or killing one hostage to save twenty? Not sure whether you are prepared to be medically hooked up to a famous violinist for nine months or whether that pig really does want to be eaten? Thought experiments have become an common feature of ethical arguments, but how should we treat them and what are their limitations?

Here is the draft text of a talk, given by Richard Baron in June 2017, on this fascinating topic.  To download the pdf file, and to see some other stuff on thought experiments, click here.

quick thoughtsNew to Ethics? Here are some quick thoughts to get you started...

Why be moral? / Should you be free to injure yourself? / It's all relative! / Revenge or self-defence? / Do you own your genes? / Do you have a right to live or die? / What if torture gets results? / Is there a drink in this for me?

Just click my image to take a look and get your discussion started...

saintCan the study of ethics make you a morally better person?

Can studying ethics be a quick root to sainthood? Is there a danger that you might become morally smug? Could ethics make you cynical about human nature?

You can study religion without becoming religious. Can you study ethics without becoming more sensitive to moral issues? Read more

sexy carrotsSexy carrots...

Reflecting on why I was amused to come across this pair of entwined carrots in the local supermarket.

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Is progress in ethics an illusion?

We live in a world of change... (see more)

The Holocaust

The greatest ethical challenge of the 20th century. See my views of Laurence Rees' book by clicking here.





Violence in God's Name by Oliver McTernan.

The book reviews the history of violence in all world religions, and explores what it is that leads people to this form of radicalism and how it may be countered. There is no ethical topic more relevant! Click the cover for my comments on this book.

... for the Curious

Curious to know more about Ethics? This double CD audio book may be just what you're looking for. It records a discussion chaired by Mark Vernon.

For further information, click here.








Used for the introductory course in Ethics at the University of Zacatecas, Mexico, 'Understand Ethics' has been translated into Spanish by three staff at the University.

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