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Six Myths about the Good Life focuses on the values that are worth aiming for in our lives, a topic central to what has been called Philosophy of Life. We all have ideas about the good life. We think that pleasure makes life better. We want to be happy. We think that achievements make a difference. There is something to all these ideas, but if taken simply and generally they all miss out on something. Six Myths about the Good Life explores what they miss and, in the process, gives a sense of what a good life can be.
"This is the best introduction to philosophical accounts of the good life available. An excellent choice for any student of philosophy, this original and revealing study will inform, stimulate, and challenge even the most sophisticated reader. Kupperman combines the distinctive care, precision, and analytic power of philosophy with the best insights of contemporary psychology and a sophisticated, sensitive, and wise appreciation of the Indian, Chinese, and Western philosophical traditions. The result is a modern classic."
—Philip J. Ivanhoe, City University of Hong Kong
"Joel Kupperman's little book on the good life is an impressively subtle introduction to this ancient subject, which also fulfills its promise of engaging a general reader. . . . [A] successful and engaging specimen of its kind.
"There are two features that particularly distinguish the book: The first is Kupperman's inclusion of eastern philosophy, which breathes new life into a very old subject. . . . The second distinguishing feature of the book is Kupperman's inclusion of empirical studies to explore his chosen myths. . . . It would be suitable for undergraduate teaching and, with supplementation, could form the basis of a graduate course."
—Samantha Vice, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"Six Myths is a consistently clear and engaging book, in the same league as Bertrand Russell's classic work, The Conquest of Happiness. . . . The author's grasp of Eastern thought and the 'positive psychology' movement makes the book useful to a very wide audience."
—Charles Guignon, University of South Florida
"In this thin, elegant volume, Joel Kupperman intends to get everyone thinking in less simplistic ways about good lives. . . . He satisfies simultaneously the demands for a sufficiently sophisticated discussion that will engage philosophers and one that will invite all thoughtful people to think along with him. Furthermore, comparative philosophers should appreciate the way in which Kupperman hits just the right level of generality that allows him to write of Confucius, Aristotle, and Plato or Hume and the Buddha in the same paragraph, and to say something interesting about all of them. This book would make a very nice addition to the reading list of introductory courses in ethics and comparative philosophy."
—David B. Wong, Philosophy Department, Duke University, in Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy
Joel J. Kupperman is Professor of Philosophy, University of Connecticut.