Ancient philosophers used to write "how-to" manuals for living. The classical American philosophers Dewey, Santayana, James, and Royce all published works that dealt with everyday concerns and issues that affected all people. Yet today, many academic philosophers talk mostly among themselves about technical points in logic or semantics or other abstruse subjects less applicable to everyday life.
Not John Lachs. In this engaging book, Lachs reminds us of the centrality of philosophy to life. He provides us with a philosophy of living and a framework to apply to the most basic and critical issues we face. He enables us to see things in new and expansive ways. Fundamental ethical choices such as suicide and euthanasia, the trying and often meaningless circumstances of modern life, confusions of ends and means, and just being tired of it all-- these concerns all come under Lachs's discerning eye. He advocates confronting the complexities of life head on, with courage and persistence. Only through our own efforts and activities can we place our experiences in new and broader contexts, enabling us to find release from despair and frustration and to derive the most out of even the worst situations.
Lachs shows that the good life involves joyous energy to the end. In Love with Life will help readers tap life's resources to face inescapable sadness, loss, and death. This is a book for everyone who has ever wondered how to reconcile the pervasive joys and frequent doubts that life presents to all of us.
Thoughtful readers will find both inspiration and tough-minded virtue in this book.
Lachs does what philosophers once were expected to do--to be philosophical. Written with energy and vital austerity, In Love with Life helps us to be wiser in living the one life that has been granted us. Lachs meets head-on the age-old perplexities that confront all people who think even a little. He helps us be a bit wiser, a little less foolish. In the splendid tradition of Epictetus and Maimonides, Lachs has created a wonderful manual for living.
--Bruce Wilshire, Rutgers University