The Best Things in Life : A Guide to What Really Matters
In The Best Things in Life, distinguished philosopher Thomas Hurka takes a fresh look at these perennial questions as they arise for us now in the 21st century. Should we value family over career? How do we balance self-interest and serving others? What activities bring us the most joy? While religion, literature, popular psychology, and everyday wisdom all grapple with these questions, philosophy more than anything else uses the tools of reason to make important distinctions, cut away
irrelevancies, and distill these issues down to their essentials. Hurka argues that if we are to live a good life, one thing we need to know is which activities and experiences will most likely lead us to happiness and which will keep us from it, while also reminding us that happiness isn't the only thing
that makes life good. Hurka explores many topics: four types of good feeling (and the limits of good feeling); how we can improve our baseline level of happiness (making more money, it turns out, isn't the answer); which kinds of knowledge are most worth having; the importance of achieving worthwhile goals; the value of love and friendship; and much more. Unlike many philosophers, he stresses that there isn't just one good in life but many: pleasure, as Epicurus argued, is indeed one, but
knowledge, as Socrates contended, is another, as is achievement. And while the great philosophers can help us understand what matters most in life, Hurka shows that we must ultimately decide for ourselves.
This delightfully accessible book offers timely guidance on answering the most important question any of us will ever ask: How do we live a good life?
- Paperback | 208 pages
- 130 x 175 x 14mm | 172g
- 14 May 2015
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
Other books in this series
07 Sep 2017
Table of contents
part, of course, it's not exactly a practical guide-it won't tell you how to find love, or how to be virtuous or successful. But it will give you a far better sense of what you should be looking for, and why. * Shelly Kagan, Yale University * Thomas Hurka's The Best Things in Life strikes the uncommon balance of being engaging to those new to philosophy, and being enriching and rewarding to professionals. .... The book is indeed a total success in this respect * Hurka's genial tone is engaging, easy-going, straightforward and entirely unpretentious; the philosophical material is plausible and engaging enough for non-philosophers, yet sophisticated and challenging enough for a philosophical audience. *
About Thomas Hurka