A collection of essays by fifteen philosophers presenting a thoughtful, introductory guide to choosing a philosophy for living an examined and meaningful life. A VINTAGE ORIGINAL
Socrates famously said "the unexamined life is not worth living," but what does it mean to truly live philosophically?
This thought-provoking, wide-ranging collection brings together essays by fifteen leading philosophers reflecting on what it means to live according to a philosophy of life. From Eastern philosophies (Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism) and classical Western philosophies (such as Aristotelianism and Stoicism), to the four major religions, as well as contemporary philosophies (such as existentialism and effective altruism), each contributor offers a lively, personal account of how they find meaning in the practice of their chosen philosophical tradition.
Together, the pieces in How to Live a Good Life provide not only a beginner's guide to choosing a life philosophy but also a timely portrait of what it means to live an examined life in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
MASSIMO PIGLIUCCI is currently the K.D. Irani professor of philosophy at the City College of New York. He has a PhD in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Tennessee. Pigliucci has been elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science "for fundamental studies of genotype by environmental interactions and for public defense of evolutionary biology from pseudoscientific attack." His work has been published in national and international outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Aeon, Philosophy Now,and The Philosophers' Magazine, among others. He is most recently the author of the bestselling How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life .
SKYE C. CLEARY, PhD, MBA, is a philosopher and author of Existentialism and Romantic Love She teaches philosophy, leadership, and management at Columbia University, Barnard College, the City University of New York, and the New York Public Library. Skye authored the script for the TED-Ed animation "Why Do We Love? A Philosophical Inquiry," which has had over 2.2 million views. Skye is currently working on a second animation for TED-Ed about Simone de Beauvoir. Her work has been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Philosophers' Magazine, HuffPost, Business Insider, and The New Republic.
DANIEL A. KAUFMAN, PhD, received his BA in philosophy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his PhD in philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is professor of philosophy at Missouri State University.
"How to Live a Good Life is a fantastic book. I dare anyone not to do something differently in their daily life at least once after reading it. . . . It’s a wonderful summary of the collected wisdom of humanity in a highly readable book of less than 300 pages. You can dip in and out of it when the mood takes you. Also, it’s written by scholars, so while these are obviously summaries, none offer glib advice on how [insert philosophy] can change your life, though I expect some of them maybe can.” —Sophie Roelle, "Best Nonfiction Books of 2020," Five Books.com
“An anthology of philosophical and religious approaches to the question ‘How ought I to live?’ may sound like heavy going, but the editors have chosen contributors who are able to present the views they favor in a style that is not only clear and informative, but in many cases, entertaining as well. This is an excellent introduction to the field of ‘philosophies of life.’” —Peter Singer, author of The Most Good You Can Do
“Philosophy professors Pigliucci, Cleary, and Kaufman deliver on their goal of providing a ‘glimpse of how the world looks through [the] respective lenses’ of 15 major philosophies in this anthology featuring an impressive array of contributors. . . . Readers interested in thinking more about their life-choices and options for change will be grateful for this practical guide to, as the authors write in their conclusion, the ‘possibilities to learn from, ponder, and perhaps adopt.’” —Publishers Weekly
“How to Live a Good Life is a fascinating and practical guide. I would happily lend you my copy, but it’s too filled with underlinings and scribbles in the margins to be legible.” —A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
“Philosophies and religions are sometimes more than just dogmas or points to be argued. They can also be daily practices which help you in the most difficult moments of your life. This book explores some of the greatest ethical paths humans have walked, including both ancient, modern, and non-western routes to wisdom. Highly recommended.” —Jules Evans, author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations
“Everyone will have something to learn from this book, whether you are seeking guidance on living a good life, or have already dedicated yourself to a school or tradition. Secular humanists can learn about Daoism, Progressive Muslims can learn about Existentialism, Confucians can learn about Ancient Greek wisdom. Those looking to seek an examined life and those looking to learn about how other coherent systems of values work will find this book illuminating. With accessible storytelling as well as scholarly rigor, the editors have put together a truly inclusive edition that covers the central tenets of living well bestowed on us by the most prominent traditions in moral philosophy and religion.” —Barry Lam, creator of Hi-Phi Nation and associate professor of philosophy at Vassar College