How to Make Good Decisions and Be Right All the Time and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$22.46
Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $2.49 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Friday, April 18? Order within and choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

How to Make Good Decisions and Be Right All the Time: Solving the Riddle of Right and Wrong Hardcover


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$22.46
$11.37 $1.99
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (December 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847063470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847063472
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,681,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this philosophical self-help, author and academic King (Peace at Any Price, How the World Failed Kosovo) reveals a logical method for making ethical decisions that he calls a "Newtonian revolution" in moral science (aka the "DNA of right and wrong"), combining the golden rule and Jeremy Betham's calculus for determining "the Greatest Happiness for the Greatest Number": "Help someone if your help is worth more to them than it is to you." Most of the book is devoted to elaborating this principle, offering an intro-to-philosophy overview and clear arguments illustrated with numerous thought-experiments. (Should a man of integrity agree to work in a dictator's torture chamber in order to replace the evil sadist currently manning the switch? Yes.) Everyday ethical considerations abound; King is even able to formulate "a credible rule that tells us when to lie." Although his system is most easily applied to one-on-one situations and small groups, it tends to break down in large groups; King concludes that, just as Newton's revolution was superseded by quantum mechanics, his principles are inherently limited by real-world complexity. Still, an academic audience interested in practical philosophy will find King's approach to everyday morals bracing, optimistic and perhaps inspiring.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

'Iain King's ambitious book is an honest attempt to think through and answer questions at the heart of morality. Anyone with an interest in practical answers to moral questions will find this book of interest too.' - James Garvey, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, UK

"...If your focus leaflets are starting to get soggy and you're frustrated with BBC political reporting, this book could be the perfect antidote for you — a reminder that there probably are deep moral truths out there and there is a reason to try to do what's right...This may well become a classic; it's certainly a good read, and definitely makes you think." - Liberal Democrat News

"...If your focus leaflets are starting to get soggy and you’re frustrated with BBC political reporting, this book could be the perfect antidote for you – a reminder that there probably are deep moral truths out there and there is a reason to try to do what’s right...This may well become a classic; it’s certainly a good read, and definitely makes you think." - Liberal Democrat News

More About the Author

Philosopher, adventurer, international conflict expert... Iain King CBE has written some fascinating books.

'How to Make Good Decisions and Be Right All the Time' is both an easy-to-understand introduction to moral philosophy and a radical new theory on ethics. Used in philosophy courses, it avoids jargon and explains complicated ideas in simple language. His theory has been widely acclaimed, and his book dubbed "destined to become a classic".

'Peace at Any Price' chronicles the Kosovo intervention, explaining what worked well, what didn't and why. The Economist praised it as "refreshing, serious and well-considered... excellent" while the Journal of Southern Europe described it as "one of the most perceptive accounts ever written on the practical difficulties associated with peace building in the aftermath of ethnic conflict."

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
0
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't agree with everything the author claims in this book, although it is very well argued. It's an interesting and rather unusual approach that attempts to ground ethical theory on a rational scientific basis. This book makes you think, and whether you agree with it or not you will come away a more thoughtful person. Recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob on February 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book make complex ideas simple, so don't assume that it's only for intellectuals...or that it's aimed at management theorists. It illustrates how you can be an altruist without being a martyr, updating and applying ideas such as 'do as you would be done by'. The examples bring it to life, posing a variety of challenges and then navigating a way through with a clear explanation of why this would be the best decision in the circumstances. Read it and be right.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brain Donor on February 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book tries, and perhaps succeeds, in setting out a pretty revolutionary ethical theory - as well as being a good general introduction to and history of the subject. It is a new book, and there may be a flaw nobody's seen yet. But until someone can say what's wrong with this new approach to right and wrong, this could be the most important book in ethics for a very long time.

It is not perfect: Kant and William James are dealt with slightly shoddily, the section on determinism is weak, and sometimes it opts for populist simplifications when more rigourous explanations are needed (eg basing a chapter about lying on President Nixon was unnecessary). But it could still change the way we think about a whole field of philosophy.

In beautifully clear language, it sets out the main problems of moral philosophy, then actually solves most of them with great originality, and brings together what's left into a new single theory of moral philosophy. A unified theory which answers most of the teasing puzzles of ethics.

This book rescues utilitarianism by developing a much-modified version of it, complete with a new proof. This allows it to give answers to Williams on integrity, Rawls on maximin (the different rules for decision-making in small and large groups are compelling), GE Moore's Open Quesion argument, the limitlessness of trying to tackle poverty, and several others all within the same theory. (It does not deal with potential people, so the book does not cover bio-ethics or population control.)

Until people find a big mistake in this, moral philosophy looks like it has been largely solved. Even if an error is found, it should be required reading for all undergraduates in philosophy, and anybody thinking of studying it. And good, also, for non-philosophers who want to get into ethics.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
I was intrigued by this book, and approached it with some enthusiasm. It is an attempt by the author to determine what is "good", in terms of decision-making, via a rigid logical process, but also with reference to thinking of a range of philosophers, scientists and others. This approach - and the author's desire to produce something of practical utility - appealed to me greatly.

But, unlike other reviewers, I found there to be occasions where what was presented as intuitive or logical sequential reasoning actually contained a 'jump' in logic or an assumed truth. Each time these were small, but important to the thesis being developed and to one's acceptance of the sequence of the reasoning. After a number of these, I lost faith in the validity of the reasoning, which was (after all) the foundation of the author's approach.

An ambitious and interesting exercise in thinking, but (for me) not ultimately persuasive or fulfilling.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0xa146d6f0)