Meaning and the good life


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Beauty and aesthetics Bioethics Comparative philosophy Cosmopolitanism Death Ethics History of ideas Knowledge Logic and probability Meaning and the good life Metaphysics Philosophy of language Philosophy of mind Philosophy of religion Philosophy of science Political philosophy Thinkers and theories Values and beliefs Virtues and vices

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Essay/
Work
Fuck work

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?

James Livingston

Photo by Raymond Depardon/Magnum

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
Indifference is a power

As legions of warriors and prisoners can attest, Stoicism is not grim resolve but a way to wrest happiness from adversity

Lary Wallace

A family party, Italy, 1983. Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
The meanings of life

Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?

Roy F Baumeister

Illustration by Paul Blow

Essay/
Ethics
A theory of jerks

Are you surrounded by fools? Are you the only reasonable person around? Then maybe you’re the one with the jerkitude

Eric Schwitzgebel

Illustration by Stephen Collins

Essay/
History of ideas
I still love Kierkegaard

He is the dramatic thunderstorm at the heart of philosophy and his provocation is more valuable than ever

Julian Baggini

Children play on Omaha beach in Normandy, France, 1947. Photo by David Seymour/Magnum Photos

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
Natural-born existentialists

Ethics cannot be based on human nature because, as evolutionary biology tells us, there is no such thing

Ronnie de Sousa

Illustration by Petra Eriksson at Handsome Frank

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Hume the humane

Hume believed we were nothing more or less than human: that’s why he’s the amiable, modest, generous philosopher we need now

Julian Baggini

Photo by David Pollack/Corbis/Getty

Essay/
Mood and emotion
The happiness ruse

How did feeling good become a matter of relentless, competitive work; a never-to-be-attained goal which makes us miserable?

Cody Delistraty

Photo by Brian Rueb Photography/Getty

Essay/
Ethics
The case against pets

A morally just world would have no pets, no aquaria, no zoos. No fields of sheep, no barns of cows. That’s true animal rights

Gary L Francione & Anna E Charlton

Hellenic values; a volunteer helps a refugee girl after arriving on an inflatable boat at Lesbos, Greece, March 2016. Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
Why read Aristotle today?

Modern self-help draws heavily on Stoic philosophy. But Aristotle was better at understanding real human happiness

Edith Hall

Illustration by Paul Blow

Essay/
Ethics
Cheeseburger ethics

Are professional ethicists good people? According to our research, not especially. So what is the point of learning ethics?

Eric Schwitzgebel

‘Moral features are the chief dimension by which we judge’; detail from The Conversion of Saint Paul by Caravaggio 1600-1601. Photo courtesy Wikimedia

Essay/
Ethics
The self is moral

We tend to think that our memories determine our identity, but it’s moral character that really makes us who we are

Nina Strohminger

Riot police battle students in the Latin Quarter, Paris, May 1968. Photo by Bruno Barbey/Magnum

Essay/
Ethics
How could they?

Some people are ruthless. Some lose control. Yet most violence remains unfathomable. A new theory lights up the darkness

Tage Rai

French teenagers on a boat in the Seine river, Paris, 1988. Photo by David Alan Harvey/Magnum

Essay/
Love and friendship
Bad friends

Even the best of friends can fill you with tension and make you sick. Why does friendship so readily turn toxic?

Carlin Flora

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
Is it OK to have kids?

Your decision about whether to procreate is serious. That makes it philosophy’s business, alarming as that might sound

Richard Chappell

Photo by Anna Pogossova/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
Je regrette

Our forward-charging culture sees regret as a sign of weakness and failure. But how else can we learn from our past?

Carina Chocano

Classic /Meaning and the good life
CLASSIC

On the happy life

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 64 CE

With a new introduction and commentary by Massimo Pigliucci

ca. 1956. Photo by Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis

Essay/
Childhood and adolescence
You can do it, baby!

Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous

Leslie Garrett

Photo by Gallery Stock

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
Worried well

Since ancient times philosophy has tried to cure us of anxiety. But worry is an important part of being a moral person

Charlie Kurth

The Triumph of Death, anonymous, early Renaissance. Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena. Photo by Scala/Getty

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
On going on and on and on

The fantasy of living forever is just a fig leaf for the fear of death – and comes at great personal cost

Paul Sagar

Bernard Henri Levy (left) and Jean Paul Sartre refuse to discuss matters at the Musée Grévin waxwork museum in Paris, France. Photo by Sylvain Sonnet/Hemis/Corbis

Essay/
History of ideas
Talk with me

Philosophy should be conversation, not dogma – face-to-face talk about our place in the cosmos and how we should live

Nigel Warburton