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How (and why) to choose your philosophy of life

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How To Live A Good Life: A Guide To Choosing Your Personal Philosophy, edited by Pigliucci, Cleary and Kaufman, is a new volume collecting together 15 philosophers’ stories of how and why they chose their life philosophies. Here, the editors explain why selecting a life philosophy is an important decision, and how they picked their own. Socrates famously said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Clearly, that’s an exaggeration. Nevertheless, some philosophers have argued that if we don’t pay attention to why we live in a certain way rather than any other, we risk “misliving” our only life, getting to the end of it, on our proverbial death bed, and thinking: “shoot, I wasted it!” Or, as Tolstoy’s Ivan Ilych puts it: “Maybe I did not live as I ought to have done… But how could that be, when I did everything properly?”In order to save you from Ilych’s fate, the three of us have asked 15 philosophers to write about their own life philosophy (or religion). Not just in terms of theo...

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