The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics by Kenan Malik - review by Anthony Kenny

Anthony Kenny

Sorting Right from Wrong

The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics

By

Atlantic Books 390pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

Kenan Malik invites his readers to consider the following questions. Can the mind be understood scientifically, and morality objectively? Can morality be reduced to the pursuit of rational self-interest? Are desires and dispositions naturally given or socially created? Do humans possess moral choice? Can we transform human nature? 

In The Quest for a Moral Compass Malik offers a guided tour of the moral systems of the past. As a guide he is informative and in general accurate, though some controversial statements are made deadpan and specialists will find points of detail to query. Each past moralist is treated

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