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Publisher's Summary

In a world full of suffering and deprivation, it's easy to despair - and it's also easy to judge ourselves for not doing more. Even if we gave away everything we own and devoted ourselves to good works, it wouldn't solve all the world's problems. It would make them better, though. So is that what we have to do? Is anything less a moral failure? Can we lead a fundamentally decent life without taking such drastic steps?

Todd May has answers. He's not the sort of philosopher who tells us we have to be model citizens who display perfect ethics in every decision we make. He's realistic: He understands that living up to ideals is a constant struggle. In A Decent Life, May leads listeners through the traditional philosophical bases of a number of arguments about what ethics asks of us, then he develops a more reasonable and achievable way of thinking about them, one that shows us how we can use philosophical insights to participate in the complicated world around us. He explores how we should approach the many relationships in our lives - with friends, family, animals, people in need - through the use of a more forgiving, if no less fundamentally serious, moral compass.

With humor, insight, and a lively and accessible style, May opens a discussion about how we can, realistically, lead the good life that we aspire to.

©2019 The University of Chicago (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about A Decent Life

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-07-2020

Simple and Inspirational

Read clearly and gracefully, this book leans on philosophy in order to help you be a better person in daily life, out of solidarity with those around us and not because there's a moral law ordering it. Whish Audible will record more of May's books

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-04-2020

Modest, humane, decent

As Todd May notices, the major theories in moral philosophy today burden us with rather demanding moral duties. In 'A Decent Life,' he works out the path toward more modest but nonetheless respectable moral achievements. His arguments are compelling and illustrated not with the sort of contrived scenarios that typically feature in moral philosophy but with examples that are realistic and relatable. He draws you into his discussion with a wonderful sense of humour and a brilliant sense of style. The book's perspective is not that of the moral saint but rather that of an ordinary, decent person.

1 person found this helpful

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