Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How Philosophy Can Save Your Life: 10 Ideas That Matter Most

Marietta McCarty scores big in this gem of a book. Taking on the time-honored question "What is the good life?" McCarty explores 10 ideas, which if clearly understood and integrated into our daily lives, would form the building blocks of a life well lived: simplicity, communication, perspective, flexibility, empathy, individuality, belonging, serenity, possibility, joy.
Each chapter includes a banquet of ideas and approaches, ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, in unique pairings, e.g. Epicurus and Charlotte Joko Beck; Epictetus and Lao Tzu; Shunryu Suzuki and Jane Addams. Discussion questions and "homework" include suggested musical compositions, art, and literature all of which would develop and enhance our understanding of the 10 ideas. McCarty suggests that while the reader can enjoy a solitary exploration of these ideas, the richness of each idea can be enhanced in discussion with others. Detailed suggestions on the formation of a philosophy circle are given. Book clubs will enjoy a break from fiction titles and the delving into one or all of the ideas. Don't miss this one! PM

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