The Good Life Method: Reasoning Through the Big Questions of Happiness, Faith, and Meaning

Penguin Pr. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781984880307. $28. PHIL
Based on their course “God and the Good Life” at the University of Notre Dame, this book by philosophers Sullivan (Time Biases) and Blaschko explores questions of how to live and what makes life meaningful. It provides the philosophical footing for a “Good Life (eudaimonia) plan,” which must be constantly and actively written to live more intentionally. The authors present philosophical concepts, some ancient, in down-to-earth language illustrated with concrete examples from modern life. Sullivan and Blaschko maintain that focusing on philosophy can help us understand who we are and how we make decisions. A key concept here is “virtue ethics,” habits that lead to goals for an individual’s Good Life. The first half of the book is about what constitutes this Good Life, while the second half is about God’s role in it. Thinkers referenced include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Søren Kierkegaard, and W. E. B. Du Bois; a list of further reading cites primary sources for their works. Exercises at the end of each chapter enable readers to apply the content to their own lives.
VERDICT Recommended for those interested in improving their lives through an intellectual approach grounded in the realities of life in today’s challenging world.
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