Moral Literacy or How to Do the Right Thing

By Colin McGinn

25 ratings - 3.64* vote

"A great resource for beginning ethics courses. The book is short and yet it richly embodies the methods of ethical thinking about practical moral problems that are hard for students to learn unless they see them in action. McGinn perspicuously sets out a small set of basic principles and then attacks the problems of our treatment of animals, abortion, sex, censorship, and "A great resource for beginning ethics courses. The book is short and yet it richly embodies the methods of ethical

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Book details

Paperback, 112 pages
June 1st 1993 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

(first published January 1st 1992)

Original Title
Moral Literacy: Or How to Do the Right Thing
ISBN
0872201961 (ISBN13: 9780872201965)
Edition Language
English

Community Reviews

Justin Clark

This excellent little primer is a must-read for those interested in getting a solid foundation on practical ethics and how they relate to particular issues like sex, drugs, violence, censorship, abortion, etc. McGinn’s informal, yet logically astute prose lights up every page with moral insights. His main contention, which I agree with, is that morality can’t be left up to only taste, custom, or authority, but should be mostly guided by reason. We should use our common sense and logical capacities to think though moral quandaries and make choices accordingly. His final chapter on moral virtue was my favorite. While not a scholarly or thorough work, this short volume gives readers a fun and enlightening foray into moral thinking.

Clifford

While not as logically compelling as I had hoped it would be, this thin volume does present a program for living and demonstrates how to make choices. The author's choices won't convince everyone, however. He approaches seven subjects: Animals, Abortion, Violence, Sex, Drugs, Censorship, and Virtue. Still, it is fascinating and important to read a discussion of ethics that doesn't derive from religion. For that it is certainly worthwhile.

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