An Introduction to Ethics by William Lillie was first published in 1948 and is now in the Public Domain. An Introduction to Ethics is thorough textbook on moral and ethical philosophy for both laymen and students, meaning it can be read by non-scholars. The main theme is the 20th Century moralists, their contribution to the discussions of moral and ethic philosophy. From the book:
Ethics is primarily a part of the quest for truth and the motive for studying it is the desire for knowledge. In this respect it is more akin to philosophical subjects than the natural sciences where the practical applications are many and attractive. We naturally want to know the truth about things, and ethics aims at finding out the truth about something that is both interesting and important-the rightness and wrongness of human conduct. There is no guarantee that the man who understands by means of ethical study the difference between right and wrong will necessarily follow the right. A theatre audience is always amused at the unlettered man in a modern comedy who tries to save his scholarly brother from choosing evil courses by reminding him that he won a university prize in moral philosophy ! In spite of the teaching of Socrates that knowledge is virtue it is commonly recognized that a mere knowledge of ethical principles is not sufficient to keep anyone in the paths of virtue. It has already been said that the example of good men’s lives and the training of practical experience are likely to be more effective influer.ces in producing good conduct.
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