Summary of The Best Things in Life

A Guide to What Really Matters

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The Best Things in Life book summary
What comprises “good” in your life, beyond sex and chocolate?


7 Overall

6 Applicability

7 Innovation

5 Style


Professor of philosophy Thomas Hurka ponders what makes a good life. He writes simply, explaining philosophical concepts with understandable examples: Chocolate and sex, for instance, are good. Hurka layers his concepts, one upon another, weaving a modern and interesting – if not necessarily compelling to the reader who is not philosophically minded – report on what comprises a good life. More practical readers might prefer tips or parameters, but this isn’t a self-help guide. It’s more of a discussion, with points to consider and directions for reaching your own conclusions. Hurka’s ability to cite Kant, Socrates and other philosophical giants without getting bogged down helps readers consider theories they might find otherwise inaccessible. getAbstract suggests this book to managers, executives, entrepreneurs and armchair philosophers seeking gentle guidance toward a more rewarding life.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why puzzling over the philosophical questions of a good life matters
  • What qualities make up a good life
  • How combining different types of goodness might make your life good
  • How to find your best life


Building a Good Life
Life’s most important decisions require tough choices. Some decisions combine practical and philosophical concerns, such as deciding whether to work after college or volunteer abroad, or whether to stay married for the kids’ sake or to get divorced for your happiness...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes.

About the Author

Thomas Hurka teaches ethics and philosophy at the University of Toronto, where he holds a chair in Philosophical Studies. His other books include Perfectionism; Virtue, Vice, and Value; and Principles: Short Essays on Ethics.

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