- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 4, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195374614
- ISBN-13: 978-0195374612
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.3 x 5.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 380 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy 1st Edition
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"Irvine excels at giving a "walking tour" of the many schools of Stoic philosophy, from Greek to Roman traditions, identifying individual Stoic thinkers (many more than Seneca) and their principles and techniques, which Irvine argues are even more relevant in modern times than their own." --Philosophical Practice
"Another valuable ally in your personal morale campaign can be found in William B. Irvine's A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, which removes the grim grey mask of noble, resigned fatalism attached to the popular conception of Stoic philosophy and lets the humanity out and the air in.... It is a work of clarion clarity, and you won't have to read that far into it before the phrase 'stoic joy' ceases sounding like an oxymoron and becomes a workable proposition."--James Wolcott, Vanity Fair
"Irvine's book excels as a guide for practicing Stoics or for individuals seeking to improve that practice." --The Common Review
"Irvine's intended audience is nonphilosophers, but everyone can profit from his clear presentation on the on the benefits of using philosophical doctrines to live a meaningful life."--Library Journal
"If, however, you are skeptical that even therapy will make you happy -- if you are looking for a life philosophy -- A Guide to the Good Life is for you.... Irvine's book is more thought-provoking."--Austin American-Statesman
"He writes in clear, almost jargon-free prose that is well suited to his target audience, and maintains a cheerful tone throughout the book...that perfectly expresses the sort of rationally grounded upbeat attitude that is one of the payoffs of becoming a practicing Stoic.... I can firmly recommend Irvine's A Guide to the Good Life to anyone interested in exploring some of the ways philosophical work can be brought to bear on the ordinary problems of living.... there is a great deal of useful thinking and excellent advice to be found in it, presented in a clear, straightforward and often charming manner."--Lauren Tillinghast, Metapsychology Online Reviews
"Bill Irvine has given us a great gift: the most accessible and inviting description of modern Stoicism available. Read this book and be prepared to change your life!"--Sharon Lebell, author of Epictetus's The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
"Well-written and so compelling, this is a rare example of a book that actually will make a difference in the lives of its readers. Whether it's coping with grief or arriving at lasting happiness, Irvine shows, with care and verve, ancient Stoic wisdom to be ever relevant and very, very helpful." --Gary Klein, author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions
"Never have I seen so delightful, empathetic, and supple a presentation of Stoicism as Irvine gives us here. Hardly Christian even in sensibilities, the Stoics were, none the less, wise in the ways of life, a benison Irvine exposes, and then delivers here, with panache and great acumen."--Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours
"Irvine's calm yet impassioned presentation of a Western philosophy of life that one can actually abide by and practice will be good medicine for many readers...I heartily recommend it." --The Christian Century
"Dr Irvine has used very simple language in his book. He gives a notion of modern stoicism and urges modern readers to practice stoicism." -- The Nation, Pakistan
About the Author
William B. Irvine is Professor of Philosophy at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He is the author of On Desire: Why We Want What We Want.
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Top customer reviews
Learning about Stoic philosophy is like finding a perfectly ripe orchard peach after living with the memory of what they taste like while making due with those tasteless grocery store articles. There's an art to living well as I see it, and this book is really helping to guide me towards a more meaningful life. William Irvine's book is a treasure of information on this philosophy, on the importance of setting a goal you won't deviate from, on what Stoic philosophy is and how to live it. Well-written, inspiring, informative. I no longer have an opportunity to study in a Stoic school, philosophy courses are focused on learning theories while the ancient schools taught pupils how to practice. This book is as close as I may ever come to one of those immersive experiences with a teacher. I'm enjoying this book, thrilled to be finding some texts here on Amazon to learn more about Stoicism written by knowledgeable authors, and feeling very optimistic about life in general again.
Epictetus, Seneca, et. al., give us prescriptions for medicine which will bring contentment, tranquility, joy, inner peace. The author has turned these prescriptions into practices/pills which we have to "take" in order to receive the benefit. There are relatively few practices--I won't go into detail about them--and they turn attitudes and values upside down! And, in order TO have something different, experience something different, we do have to make changes. These changes are in the realm of challenging attitudes, perceptions and values which do NOT bring tranquility.
If you're still thinking that a new car, a new job, a raise, a new spouse, a new house, a move to another part of the country, a _____, will bring contentment but are beginning to question these values, read this book. If you already are out of the "acquisition = happiness" equation, then this book may give you some added means and methods of finding delight in the simple and ordinary. After all, the simple and ordinary are always available.
If you don't have a philosophy of life, there is danger that you will mislive and end up living a bad life.
I'd known a bit about Stoicism before, but I too have fed on common misinformation which the book challenges and corrects
Reading this book, I've found common language and something to identify with, a tool to define the way I want to live my life, while learning how to deal with this social gap that frustrated and confused me in the past.
If you are a person whose life philosophy is knowledge and wisdom, high morality and mutual respect to other people,
but are also tackled by daily conflicts of how to maintain this philosophy while living happily and with minimal sacrifices
you should definitely read this book.
Now I have another book to add to that very short list of one. Thank you for your fine explanations. The examples of strategies and use in everyday life are well done. Your personal accounts ie. your mother were lovely. And isn't the ability to manage the annoyances of others through this philosophy illuminating?
Good luck with your practice. Ted Petrocci