Why Philosophy Matters: 20 Lessons on Living Large
This book demonstrates that philosophy matters to everyday living and that people who ignore the enduring, fundamental questions of life thereby unwittingly relinquish part of their humanity.
The question – “How should I live my life?” – along with cosmological inquiries about the nature of the world, animated Western philosophy during its earliest recorded years. Given that belief in the Greek and Roman gods failed to provide substantive guidelines for everyday living, philosophy arose in large measure as practical instruction in the art of living the good human life.
Throughout history, philosophers have provided vastly different answers to the question of what constitutes such a life. By analyzing carefully their disparate definitions, recipes, and accounts of the good human life we can understand better who we are and who we might be. This work examines the answers provided by over thirty philosophers to aspects of building character, forging personal relations, promoting sound political strategies, living meaningfully, and dying gracefully. In so doing, over twenty lessons for living a worthy life emerge.
Raymond Angelo Belliotti is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He is the author of 18 books including Justifying Law; Good Sex; What is the Meaning of Human Life?; and Happiness is Overrated. Belliotti has been the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the William T. Hagan Young Scholar/Artist Award, the Kasling Lecture Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship, and the SUNY Foundation Research and Scholarship Recognition Award.
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