Ideas to Save Your Life

Michael McGirr

Ideas to Save Your Life
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Ideas to Save Your Life

Michael McGirr

Ideas to Save Your Life follows Michael McGirr’s much-loved Books that Saved My Life (2018). This time, McGirr shares his love of philosophy, looking at the works of twenty eminent thinkers across history.

The book goes back to Pythagoras and comes forward to the contemporary Australian Frank Jackson; back to Mungo Woman and forward to Martha Nussbaum, by way of Simone Weil and Iris Murdoch. It is animated by two related questions: from where do we draw a sense of life’s purpose, and how can philosophy make life better? It ranges widely across subjects: from solitude to community, language to order, experience to ecstasy, the idea of good to that of a good idea.

McGirr’s approach is warm and inviting. Drawing on many years' experience teaching philosophy to teenagers, he shares stories from his life and discusses how philosophers have shed light on them. Ideas to Save Your Life is often funny, but it is serious about philosophy. It makes the impenetrable accessible, the indescribable palpable, and invites you to change the way you see the world.

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