How to Make Good Decisions… – Reviews

How to Make Good Decisions and Be Right All the Time

This book is both an accessible history of ethics, and an original contribution to the subject.  It explains puzzles which have vexed moral philosophers over the centuries, how solutions to some of them can be found, and why some problems can never be solved.  Deliberately written without jargon, this book is for anyone fascinated by ideas, and who likes to understand questions before they accept answers.  More details – including how you can buy the book – are available from the publishers, Bloomsbury, here.

Praise for ‘How to Make Good Decisions and Be Right All the Time’

“An academic audience interested in practical philosophy will find King’s approach to everyday morals bracing, optimistic and perhaps inspiring.” – Publishers’ Weekly

“This may well become a classic; it’s certainly a good read, and definitely makes you think. 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.” Liberal Democrat News

“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.” – Royal Institute of Philosophy, UK”

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 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.” – Brain Donor, via Amazon

“It is great to read a book where the author has had the chance to evaluate his work and set it up in a thoughtful book that appeals to everyone.” – Bjorn Hauksson, via

“This is a very smart book, which both introduces people to the main ideas in ethics, and then goes on to (try to) solve them. It develops a new theory in ethics which answers many (but not all – it doesn’t go into population ethics, for example) of the problems which currently dominate the field. If the original ideas in this book stand up it could mean the end of moral philosophy as we know it. Worth reading, if only to try to find the mistakes (I couldn’t).” – Hazel D, via LibraryThing

“A very attractive and comprehensible argument, told in a chatty but far from superficial style. It reminds me most of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, though without the motorcycles, and it possibly has the potential to become a similar cult classic with the right sort of marketing. (Certainly has a catchy title.)” – Nic Whyte (via Goodreads)

“Really inspiring. I can’t judge his original theory as a proper philosopher might be able to, but Iain King is fantastic at expressing ideas in ways which appeal to someone who thinks more about cats than Socrates (like me). He explains what the main philosophers said, and why their ideas were important, but without talking down to you. The things he wrote about charity really made me question what I do, and I loved his examples (like Sven). This is an excellent book for anyone who wants both an introduction to ethics (which is the study of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ – hence the teasing title to this book) and is looking for some original thoughts. It is clever without making you feel stupid.” – Sarah Tunney (via Goodreads)

“This is a fascinating book on ethics and morality in the modern world. It includes whithin it the greatest ideas about this subject from the ancient world philosphers up to nowdays thinkers. The outcome is a brilliant system how to make good decisions following certain Principles which maybe the majority of people are doing already using their intuition. This book explains how we are making right or wrong decisions and what we need to know to improve our skills. Although the subject is serious the book is easy to read and understand due to the brilliant language and style.” – T Radenkovic (via

“I was drawn to this book by the title and found inside a clear and highly readable examination of complex yet everyday (and therefore accessible) moral issues. Making decisions is something we all do, each day, and this book gives you space to think about that process, using short punchy chapters to present a different moral dilemma (yes, even on sex, in case you’re wondering) which then gets explored.” – Lucy B (via

“This book makes 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.”Bob, via

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