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The Puzzle of Ethics Paperback – 2 Aug 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fount; 2Rev Ed edition (2 Aug. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006281443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006281443
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Vardy started out as a Chartered Accountant, becoming chairman of UK listed companies before he was 30. Following the birth of his children he started a Theology degree at King's College London, a degree which soon became an MA and then a PhD on the concept of Eternity, supervised by Stewart Sutherland. After a PGCE, Peter became a lecturer at Heythrop College, accompanying it when it became part of the University of London. He became Vice Principal in 1999, the first Anglican to hold such a senior position. Also in the late 1990s Peter began writing books for undergraduates, with the aim of reinvigorating his subject area. The Puzzle of God and The Puzzle of Ethics remain bestselling titles twenty years later, particularly popular with the generations of RS and Philosophy teachers and their proteges who also frequent Peter's conferences for Sixth Formers, which attract in excess of 10,000 people every year in the UK and more in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. Known for his amazing collection of colourful jumpers, his coffin/coffee table, his love of Harry Potter and Pooh Bear - and those videos - Peter is often credited with contributing to the resurgence in the popularity of Religious Studies and Philosophy in schools and universities. Theology wrote "Peter Vardy is a gifted communicator. He is the best popularizer of the philosophy of religion currently working in Britain..."

Product Description

From the Back Cover

A guide to the complex subject of ethics explained in clear and entertaining language. This new edition is fully revised and updated.

This popular introduction to the subject of ethics poses vital contemporary questions and explores the approach of leading thinkers.

The authors take the reader, step by step, through the complex arguments on issues such as animal an human rights, environmental ethics and the morality of war.

“It is a great gift to be able to make philosophy accessible to the general reader. This is a wonderfully clear introduction both to moral philosophy and to contemporary ethical concerns.”
David Atkinson, 'Church Times'

About the Author

Dr Peter Vardy is lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at London University’s Heythrop College.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Featherstone on 15 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is designed primarily for A Level students in ethics. The Chapters are easily and clearly broken down, and Vardy sensibly divides up the topics into 'Theoretical' and 'Applied Ethics.' All the principle ethical theories are traced, fro, Plato and Aristotle, to Kant, Bentham, and Fletcher. The Applied Ethics includes burning issues of the moment; Abortion and Euthanasia, War, Human Rights, and Environmental Ethics. Each of these chapters is of a similar length and Vardy's great skill is in giving a concise and easy to understand summary of what are often complicated theories. An example would be the chapter on 'Kant and the Moral Law,' where he successfully picks through the jargon and heavy vocabulary of the 'Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals' to give one of the best outlines I have seen.
In short, a highly recommended book for students or the interested reader.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 April 2002
Format: Paperback
Vardy is a fantastic lecturer of philosophy and ethics at Heythrop College, University of London and his passion for the subject is evident in this book. He manages to balance detailed theory with and interesting read, addressing up-to-date issues in e.g. medical and sexual ethics, ideal for the A level student who wishes to increase their breadth and depth of knowledge in ethics. Also a good read for anyone interested in reading about ethics and morality but is unsure where to start, no prior knowledge is assumed! I can recommend all of his books-but this especially is an invaluable addition to any thinker's library!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By lizwisch89 on 30 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
Well, what can I say? It's one of Peter Vardy's which means its a great book. It's a very useful and accessible text for use at A level and for a bit of background reading at degree level. It's also interesting if you just fancy knowing more about that sort of thing.
However, it's definitely easier to read if you've heard Vardy lecture because you cannot fail to hear him reading it in your head which makes the language much easier to cope with
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a powerful and easy to comprehend introduction to ethics. Ideal for all who are thinking of or who have started to study ethics. A clear and concise book that challenges the mind.Greatly reccomended!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 April 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For AS students Vardy enters into too much conjecture. A student could easily be duped into imagining that Vardy's own conjecture is academic scholarship. This is especially the case when Vardy hypoyhesises about natural law and human sexuality.
Much of this book is Vardy summarising the work of other philosophers and doing so with his own conjecture often straying from the point. The AS student might struggle to pick out the key points of Aristotle and Macintyre on virtue ethics for example.
It needs to be read very carefully and with some prior knowledge.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter was my uni. lecturer in Philosophy of Religion thus I know his thinking and style. He is faultless in his presentation and this book allows one to grasp a difficult subject easily.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really good start to build a foundation for this subject. Peter Vardy makes these subjects very easy to consume.
Please could you release a kindle version?
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By Savonarola on 1 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
Nice, clear, lucid prose, A great introduction for ethics, however, I did not give it 5 stars as one of the syllogisms were badly formed
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