A Guide to the Good Life

A Guide to the Good Life

The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

Book - 2009
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Oxford University Press
One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.

In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have.

Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows readers how to become thoughtful observers of their own lives. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.

Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
ISBN: 9780195374612
Characteristics: xii, 314 p. : ill. ; 19 cm


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Mar 11, 2017

Great history of Stoicism and a good guide for practicing. Will read again.

Dec 09, 2016

I loved this book as a modern introduction to stoicism. I think so many of us could benefit from a stoic revival in today's age.

Apr 21, 2016

This book is a great way to open your eyes to a new way of experiencing life. It teaches the history and philosophy of the stoics, and how they worked to get the most out of their lives by embracing the good and the bad. I am going to be reading this book again because there is just too much good stuff for just one read.

Aug 20, 2015

An interesting book which is a recommended read for all, particularly men.

Stoicism is a practical way to get the most out of your life while experiencing inner joy and contentment.

Interesting book with great thoughts; it is especially amazing as a reader's first introduction to this philosophy. (though some parts at the end were in my opinion unnecessary)


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Apr 21, 2016

cpyke88 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Aug 20, 2015

Cheetaiean thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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