Ethics for Beginners
Ethics for Beginners
Big Ideas from 32 Great Minds
by Peter Kreeft
Socrates once said that a good person does not worry much about the little things, like whether he lives or dies, but only about the one big thing: whether he is a good person or a bad one.
In Ethics for Beginners, celebrated philosopher Peter Kreeft reclaims the importance of ethical study in answering life’s big questions: What is the meaning of life? How should I live? How should I treat other people? Unlike many modern texts on the subject, this one asserts that ethics is real, that good and evil are knowable, and that we can learn to act well and so become better and happier people.
Surveying the “big ideas” of the thirty-two most important ethical philosophers, Ethics for Beginners is an apprenticeship to the greatest minds in history. With expert analysis and reflection from Kreeft, it offers a challenging and unforgettable treatment that is suitable for classroom and individual use alike.
What People are Saying
“Peter Kreeft, one of the most thoughtful and prolific Catholic scholars living today, has done it again. Ethics for Beginners is an essential resource to introduce readers to some of the most important thinkers and ideas in this domain, as he makes the case that good and evil are real and knowable. This is an indispensable volume, coming at a crucial moment. Anyone seeking to pursue the good life and happiness most richly understood owes Kreeft a debt of gratitude.”
—O. Carter Snead, University of Notre Dame Professor of Law, Director of de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, and author of What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics
“Peter Kreeft—prophet, sage, and winsome professor of philosophy—teaches readers how to unite the knowing, doing, and being of ethics against the backdrop of some of the most influential moral theorists in history, including Socrates, Buddha, Moses, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Hume, Kant, and Alasdair MacIntyre, to name a few. The cumulative goal is to make you a better person, a happy person—that is, an ethical person.”
—Matthew R. Petrusek, Professor of Catholic Ethics, Word on Fire Institute, from the foreword
“Virtually anyone who has taken the time to look into academic discourse on ethics could understandably be scared off. You find so many different visions of the good, so much specialist jargon, so much argumentative complexity, and so many ideological agendas. Peter Kreeft has written a book that offers folks a chance to bypass these roadblocks by diving directly into accessible visions of the great masters of ethics. We desperately need non-specialists to take ethics more seriously, not only as a tool for changing their own lives, but for the building of a new culture by those who have had their lives so changed. This book offers non-specialists a chance to do precisely this.”
—Charles Camosy, Professor of Medical Humanities, Creighton University School of Medicine