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In Love with Life: Reflections on the Joy of Living and Why We Hate to Die (The Vanderbilt Library of American Philosophy) Hardcover – April 15, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: The Vanderbilt Library of American Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press; 1st edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082651328X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826513281
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #926,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vanderbilt University philosopher Lachs (The Relevance of Philosophy to Life) describes why he believes life is worth living. Restricting himself to Western culture, the author posits that the pleasure adults take in leisure activities demonstrates that we are in love with life. (There are, he admits, truly destructive people who don't feel this joy of living and he contends that they should be held responsible for their actions.) He theorizes that when illness strikes or an unhappy love affair makes one feel that life is worthless, it is only a temporary reaction, something that interferes with a more basic love of life. Lachs firmly believes that humanity is far better off than in the past and credits technological advances that have resulted in longer life expectancy and previously unavailable opportunities for enjoyment. The author's musings read more like low-key advice on how to get the most out of living than philosophical insights. He recommends, for example, that people approach choosing a vocation or profession with an experimental attitude, take pride in what they do well and learn to embrace change?which also includes approaching death in such a way that its prospect doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of life.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Lachs does what philosophers once were expected to do--to be philosophical. Written with energy and vital austerity, In Love with Life helps us to be wiser in living the one life that has been granted us. Lachs meets head-on the age-old perplexities that confront all people who think even a little. He helps us be a bit wiser, a little less foolish. In the splendid tradition of Epictetus and Maimonides, Lachs has created a wonderful manual for living.
--Bruce Wilshire, Rutgers University

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By James P. Oliver on September 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
John Lachs is that rarest of academics: respected by his colleagues, revered by his students, and relevant to his contemporaries, he has written yet another book which deserves to be read and reflected on by all thoughtful persons. In Love With Life (Vanderbilt University Press, 1998), like his earlier books including Intermediate Man and The Relevance of Philosophy for Life, radiates a philosophical acuity which is at once both classic and timely in its application to the perennial human challenge of living a good life. It is an antidote to the glum sensibility of existential despair, deconstructive irony, and trendy "postmodern" nihilism which has given philosophy a bad name of late. Far from being "nauseated" and repelled by the small perceptual details of everyday experience, Lachs invites us all to notice the intrinsic occasions for delight and wonder in the most ordinary natural events, right down to "the bug that walks across the kitchen floor." Such a suggestion might, from a lesser writer, seem saccharine; indeed, the recent spate of books urging our attentiveness to the majesty of the everyday and the ordinary, and promoting half-baked Zen preoccupations, often is treacly and undigestible. But Lachs makes it more than palatable, challenging us to infuse our present with keen interest, anticipation, and expansive fellow-feeling. "No one has seen next spring. No one knows what splendid music will make [life] sweeter soon." In Love With Life makes splendid music, and its keynotes of delight, energy, vibrancy, and hope linger sweetly in a prose that dances and sings.
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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps I expected too much because of the author's name but there is not much more to this book than "you should get a life, and appreciate it".
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