Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way

Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way

By Kieran Setiya

"There is no cure for the human condition: life is hard. But Kieran Setiya believes philosophy can help. He offers us a map for navigating rough terrain, from personal trauma to the injustice and absurdity of the world. In this profound and personal book, Setiya shows how the tools of philosophy can help us find our way.

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Book Information

Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: 10/03/2023
Pages: 240
ISBN-13: 9780593538227
ISBN-10: 0593538226
Language: English

What We're Saying

November 01, 2022

We invite our reading community to come along as we take a deeper look at Life is Hard: What Philosophy Can Teach Us About Hard TImes and learn more about author Kieran Setiya through this live-streamed interview. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 01, 2022

Upcoming Virtual Interviews: Fall 2022

By Sally Haldorson, Emily Porter

We’re thrilled to bring you even more free virtual author interviews this Fall! READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORKER AND THE ECONOMIST "Life Is Hard is a humane consolation for challenging times. Reading it is like speaking with a thoughtful friend who never tells you to cheer up, but, by offering gentle companionship and a change of perspective, makes you feel better anyway." --The New York Times Book Review

There is no cure for the human condition: life is hard. But Kieran Setiya believes philosophy can help. He offers us a map for navigating rough terrain, from personal trauma to the injustice and absurdity of the world. In this profound and personal book, Setiya shows how the tools of philosophy can help us find our way. Drawing on ancient and modern philosophy as well as fiction, history, memoir, film, comedy, social science, and stories from Setiya's own experience, Life Is Hard is a book for this moment--a work of solace and compassion. Warm, accessible, and good-humored, this book is about making the best of a bad lot. It offers guidance for coping with pain and making new friends, for grieving the lost and failing with grace, for confronting injustice and searching for meaning in life. Countering pop psychologists and online influencers who admonish us to "find our bliss" and "live our best lives," Setiya acknowledges that the best is often out of reach. Instead, he asks how we can weather life's adversities, finding hope and living well when life is hard.

About the Author

Kieran Setiya is a professor of philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of Midlife: A Philosophical Guide. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books , The New York Times , the Boston Review , the London Review of Books , The Atlantic , and The Yale Review.

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