The Weight of Things: Philosophy and the Good Life / Edition 1

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What does it mean to have a "good life"? Is it a matter of choice or chance? In this engaging book, author Jean Kazez asks the perennial philosophical questions about what we should place at the center of our lives. Incorporating the views of both past and present philosophers, as well as examples from history, literature, media, and the news, this concise introduction to ethics and philosophy offers a unique opportunity for personal reflection.

Contemplating the importance of happiness, morality, self expression, desire, religion, and family, The Weight of Things invites the reader to explore the difficult questions in our daily lives. Topics are animated by a colorful cast of characters, including fourth-century hermits, The Matrix's Neo, a-Wal-Mart clerk, runaway slaves, and Lance Armstrong, among others. The Weight of Things is a fascinating and insightful search for answers.

About the Author:
Jean Kazez adjunct teaching at Southern Methodist University in Dallas

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Warmly written... lucid and humanely engaging." The Guardian

"This book fills an important niche between academic analyses of the meaning of life and overly popularized ‘tips for good living’. I’ve read quite a few books in this area and there is more insight, wit, and wisdom per page in this one book than in almost any of the others."
Edward Langerak, St Olaf College

"The Weight of Things is clear, provocative, tightly-argued, and rich with memorable examples. Written in an informal yet careful style, this examination of how we ought to live is philosophically acute and a delight to read."
Marcia McKelligan, DePauw University

“Kazez provides a bracing forum for engagement [and] presents a framework within which readers may contemplate their own ideas. Fluid writing, accompanied by a provocative thesis.”
Choice Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405160773
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/17/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Kazez received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Arizona in 1991. She divides her time between writing and adjunct teaching at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband and two children.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     1
This Mortal World     6
Strange Lives     16
Reason and Luck     27
Is Happiness All That Matters?     46
Necessities     61
Puzzles of Diversity     81
Hard Choices     99
Trying to be Good     111
The Religious Realm     128
Taking Aim     146
Notes     159
Bibliography     167
Acknowledgments     172
Index     174
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