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Reflections on Ethics 49
A Reading List

To open a discussion on this article, please use the contact page to provide your comments.

Motivated partly by Ask the Patriarch 104, I decided to start a suggested reading list for those who are interested in reading deeper into ethics and morality, and finding a basis for being good without resorting to a deity.

Most recent additions will be at the top.

Initially the list is brief. Your suggestions based on your own reading are requested so that this list can be steadily enlarged.

On the Good Life, by Marcus Tullius Cicero, trans Michael Grant. Penguin Classics, 1971. ISBN 01404442448
- Cicero's reflections on the good life, in which he discusses duty, friendship, the training of a statesman, and the importance of moral integrity in the search for happiness.

Ethics, by Baruch Spinoza, trans RHM Elwes (1883) online courtesy Middle Tennessee State University.
- heavy reading; discusses the nature of human beings, the way in which a rational person might live, the nature of God, and true freedom and how it can be attained.

Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe. By Erik J. Wielenberg. Cambridge University Press, New York, 2005. ISBN: 13 978-0-521-60784-1. 193pp
- a positive review in the November / December 2005 Skeptical Enquirer

Being Good: A short introduction to ethics. By Simon Blackburn. Oxford University Press, New York, 2001. ISBN: 0-19-285377-5. 162 pp
- a nice little book, easy to read, which summarizes and discusses various philosophical approaches proposed for a basis of ethics.

Ethics: Inventing right and wrong. By J.L. Mackie. Penguin Books, 1990 (reprint) ISBN: 0-14-013558-8
- an introduction to meta-ethics; considers there is no objective morality, an issue considered contraversial.

Utilitarianism. By John Stuart Mill. 1863 online book.
- the classic text on the subject.

Contributers to the reading list: