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little book of ethics

The Little Book of Ethics

Paperback, 100 pages, A5 format. Published by G.P. Martin. Released August 2011.
ISBN 978 0 9804045 4 8

$AU15.95 + postage (Australia). Purchase using Paypal: click "Add to cart" button below.

Purchasers outside Australia can purchase through Lulu.


In a few words.....

This book offers a fresh way of thinking about ethics - through a framework of five human values based on five dimensions of the person. And it explains how people see ethics in different ways: through institutional loyalties, human relationships, and spiritual values.

The author talks about the book.....

Ethics are a central part of our lives. They are as basic and pervasive as thinking and feeling. But dealing with ethical issues can leave us feeling confused, uncertain and even guilty without knowing why. The Little Book of Ethics introduces ethics through the lens of values, and offers five core human values – honesty, peace, right action, love and insight – that are associated with five dimensions of our person. It shows how these values can be applied in the different domains of our lives, and relates these values to the aims of human life, where ethics is united with meaning and purpose.

The book is intended as a clear and concise presentation of the framework and concepts, and it aims to avoid a variety of traps that befall discussions of ethics. They can be pious, doctrinaire, simplistic, bombastic or quaintly philosophical. The Little Book of Ethics is simple in conception but sweeping in scope. It is offered as a practical handbook for establishing the grounds on which you can live a worthwhile life.

It's important to realise that people do not all see ethics from the same perspective. They may use the same words, but there are three broad orientations towards ethics. For some people, it is really about laws and compliance. For some others, it is about the quality of relationships – the basis on which you relate to other people. And there is a third orientation, where ethics is about who you wish to be in the world, your identity.

Ethics is often said to be a constraint on action. Well, yes it is. But the nature of the constraint is to make it possible for us to live life with integrity, peace and strength, and to become all that we can be.

It is also often said that life is about happiness, as if it were the one thing in life. The truth is, there are two things in life, joy and correctness, and neither is possible without the other. Not enough people know this.

Little Book of Ethics postcard

Reviews and reactions

Thanks for sending The Little Book of Ethics: A Human Values Approach. I read it in one sitting. For professionals, managers and adults generally, I think the book is an excellent resource for thinking about ethical issues more clearly. I particularly enjoyed Chapter 8 (Practice - living ethically).

Wayne Bleakley, Human resources practitioner