A Short Treatise on the Great Virtues: The Uses of Philosophy in Everyday Life

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9780434009688: A Short Treatise on the Great Virtues: The Uses of Philosophy in Everyday Life

Much of the history of philosophy is the history of ethics. From Plato to Sartre, the great philosophers have returned to the central ethical questions of how we are to live good lives; how is it appropriate and virtuous for us to behave, both to ourselves and to others? In addressing these questions, Andre Comte-Sponville returns to the mainstream of much of the Western philosophical tradition with an utterly original exploration of the timeless human virtues. A Short Treatise on the Great Virtues takes as its starting point eighteen human virtues to help us understand 'what we should do, who we should be, and how we should live'. Comte-Sponville offers the reader both a thoughtful and accessible introduction to the history of Western ethics and an exploration of the ways in which the views and claims of the great philosophers can apply - and fail to apply - to our lives today.

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About the Author:

In a country that reveres philosophers, Comte-Sponville is latest in a line of French star philosophers that runs from Sartre, through Derrida, Finkielkraut and Bernard-Henri Levy. Unlike the last three, his accessibility and refusal to fly in the face of common sense has made him famous across Europe.

Review:

"Scandalously original; this book is a quest for wisdom" -- Tzetan Todorov "The great strength of this book is that it removes philosophy from abstract theorizing and deposits it where it belongs: in our daily lives and the world around us" * Mail on Sunday * "Clearly and often beautifully written... Comte-Sponville cleaves to the aim set out in his subtitle, which is to suggest that philosophy may aid us in the conduct of everyday affairs" -- John Banville * Irish Times * "That rare thing: a work of philosophy that is both readable and good... Its popularity is easy to understand... Precise, scholastic even, yet also passionate" * New Statesman * "A superior book for the layman... If only all Comte-Sponville's countrymen wrote as lucidly as he... A wonderful book that neatly turns the moral maze into a system of converging corridors" * Spectator *

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Andre Comte-Sponville
Published by William Heinemann Ltd (2002)
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ISBN 10: 0434009687 ISBN 13: 9780434009688
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