The Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy for Everyone

University of Chicago Press
2
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Winner of the 2015 Hiett Prize in the Humanities.

Sometimes it seems like you need a PhD just to open a book of philosophy. We leave philosophical matters to the philosophers in the same way that we leave science to scientists. Scott Samuelson thinks this is tragic, for our lives as well as for philosophy. In The Deepest Human Life he takes philosophy back from the specialists and restores it to its proper place at the center of our humanity, rediscovering it as our most profound effort toward understanding, as a way of life that anyone can live. Exploring the works of some of history’s most important thinkers in the context of the everyday struggles of his students, he guides us through the most vexing quandaries of our existence—and shows just how enriching the examined life can be.
Samuelson begins at the beginning: with Socrates, working his most famous assertion—that wisdom is knowing that one knows nothing—into a method, a way of approaching our greatest mysteries. From there he springboards into a rich history of philosophy and the ways its journey is encoded in our own quests for meaning. He ruminates on Epicurus against the sonic backdrop of crickets and restaurant goers in Iowa City. He follows the Stoics into the cell where James Stockdale spent seven years as a prisoner of war. He spins with al-Ghazali first in doubt, then in the ecstasy of the divine. And he gets the philosophy education of his life when one of his students, who authorized a risky surgery for her son that inadvertently led to his death, asks with tears in her eyes if Kant was right, if it really is the motive that matters and not the consequences. Through heartbreaking stories, humanizing biographies, accessible theory, and evocative interludes like “On Wine and Bicycles” or “On Zombies and Superheroes ,” he invests philosophy with the personal and vice versa. The result is a book that is at once a primer and a reassurance—that the most important questions endure, coming to life in each of us.
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About the author

Scott Samuelson lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where he teaches philosophy at Kirkwood Community College and is a movie reviewer, television host, and sous-chef at a French restaurant on a gravel road.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Apr 3, 2014
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780226130415
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Marcus Aurelius
Sam Harris

Sam Harris’s first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists—agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious faith. It is also the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates feel obligated to "respect" the hardened superstitions of their more devout neighbors.

In this explosive new book, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge. Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a "moral landscape." Because there are definite facts to be known about where we fall on this landscape, Harris foresees a time when science will no longer limit itself to merely describing what people do in the name of "morality"; in principle, science should be able to tell us what we ought to do to live the best lives possible.

Bringing a fresh perspective to age-old questions of right and wrong and good and evil, Harris demonstrates that we already know enough about the human brain and its relationship to events in the world to say that there are right and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life. Because such answers exist, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality.

Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our "culture wars," Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.
史考特.薩繆森(Scott Samuelson)
 <strong>哲學不只是思考遊戲,而是在人生的困惑和抉擇中尋找意義</strong>


一門社區大學的哲學課,一位在哲學中獲得救贖的老師,來自各行各業的學生,

各式苦樂人生,都是一場又一場的哲學旅程。

因為研讀柏拉圖的作品,撲克臉的工廠工人拾回面對生活試煉的力量。

透過豪爾沃斯的觀點,充滿熱忱的護士思索出工作的意義。

在康德的道德哲學中,失去兒子的母親找到內心悲傷的出口。

接觸了伊比鳩魯主義與斯多噶主義,罹患罕見疾病的女子重燃對生命的熱情。


我們經常以為只有哲學博士才有辦法打開一本哲學作品來看,把哲學問題統統丟給哲學家,就像我們把科學丟給科學家一樣。本書作者史考特‧薩繆森認為這是個悲劇,無論是對於我們的生活或是對哲學家而言。《在生命最深處遇見哲學》裡,他把哲學從教授專家手中拿回來,擺在人性中心的位置,那是我們最深刻的人生探索,是任何人都可以過的生活。


全書哲學的開端講起,從他與學生們在課堂上的互動為背景,描述他們如何努力奮鬥,克服日常生活的障礙,並從中探究歷史上重要哲學家的觀點與經典哲學作品如何呼應現實。當難以應付的考驗接踵而來,我們才發現,原以為只存在學術殿堂的思想,早已為一切提供了解釋。


<strong>【誠意推薦】</strong>


蔡康永(知名主持人、作家)

孫效智(臺大哲學系教授兼生命教育中心主任)

「哲學新媒體」團隊成員


<strong>【各界好評】</strong>


「從大一開始,薩繆森就與同學爭論哲學能否為人帶來生活意義。慶幸的是,至今他仍為這個問題努力奮鬥。一般人普遍認為哲學是學院裡的東西,但薩繆森決心打破這種成見,他鼓勵讀者加入他的行列,一同為思想賦予人性。他從蘇格拉底坦白宣告自己無知開始……然而,或許沒有人像薩繆森這樣在背景多元的社區大學任教,這裡有嗜酒的自行車騎士,有睡眠不足的家庭主婦,有長得像僧侶的工廠工人,這群看似平常的學生,反而凸顯出極重要的意義:哲學與每個人的生活息息相關。」

——《美國書訊》Booklist


「《在生命最深處遇見哲學》提供我們需要的工具,來面對帕斯卡提出的挑戰,也就是『面對自己』,不過,這確實是個艱鉅的任務。」

——《Rain Taxi書評》


「本書讓哲學充滿人性,讓偉大的哲學主題與一般人的人生連結起來。」

——威廉.厄文(William B. Irvine)(《良善生活指南》A Guide to the Good Life作者)


出版社 商周出版 (城邦)

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