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Aristotle's Way

How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life
Narrated by: Sian Thomas
Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From renowned classicist Edith Hall, Aristotle's Way is an examination of one of history's greatest philosophers, showing us how to lead happy, fulfilled, and meaningful lives.

Aristotle was the first philosopher to inquire into subjective happiness, and he understood its essence better and more clearly than anyone since. According to Aristotle, happiness is not about well-being, but instead a lasting state of contentment, which should be the ultimate goal of human life. We become happy through finding a purpose, realizing our potential, and modifying our behavior to become the best version of ourselves. With these objectives in mind, Aristotle developed a humane program for becoming a happy person, which has stood the test of time, comprising much of what today we associate with the good life: meaning, creativity, and positivity. Most importantly, Aristotle understood happiness as available to the vast majority us, but only, crucially, if we decide to apply ourselves to its creation - and he led by example. As Hall writes, "If you believe that the goal of human life is to maximize happiness, then you are a budding Aristotelian."

In expert yet vibrant modern language, Hall lays out the crux of Aristotle's thinking, mixing affecting autobiographical anecdotes with a deep wealth of classical learning. For Hall, whose own life has been greatly improved by her understanding of Aristotle, this is an intensely personal subject. She distills his ancient wisdom into 10 practical and universal lessons to help us confront life's difficult and crucial moments, summarizing a lifetime of the most rarefied and brilliant scholarship.

©2019 Edith Hall (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Hall’s new book clears a rare middle way for her reader to pursue happiness...Aristotle’s Way carefully charts the arc of a virtuous life that springs from youthful talent, grows by way of responsible decisions and self-reflection, finds expression in mature relationships, and comes to rest in joyful retirement and a quietly reverent death. Easier said than done, but Aristotle, Hall explains, is there to help.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Hall explains some of the philosopher’s most complex ideas in an approachable way, covering his notes on everything from the power of community to understanding your goals and why you should always consult a third party when making a decision... When it comes to happiness, perhaps it’s actually time to say out with the new and in with the old.” (TIME Magazine)

“In clear, patient language, Hall deftly weaves threads pulled from this daunting range of material into lessons that pertain directly to dilemmas of modern life... We are told that Hall “first encountered Aristotle when she was twenty, and he changed her life forever”; one of the book’s strengths is her tone of unmistakable sincerity.” (American Scholar)

“[A] lucid account...nontechnical but deeply grounded.... Can happiness come from virtue? This lively book makes a good argument in the affirmative.” (Kirkus Review)

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