It’s an observable phenomenon that the gap in life satisfaction between the very young and the very old with those in their 40s is equivalent to that associated with getting a divorce. Kieran Setiya, the MIT philosopher and author of Midlife: A Philosophical Guide, chooses the best books to counsel you through this difficult period.
Humanist ideas are not a recent phenomenon, but have been around for millennia, says Andrew Copson, chief executive of Humanists UK. He explains why it’s worth making a positive choice to be a humanist and recommends a great humanist reading list.
The Stoics offer us valuable strategies of thinking about and dealing with hardships that remain relevant for modern society, says the philosophy professor and author Massimo Pigliucci. Here he recommends the five books that best express the essence of Stoicism and how it might be applied to real life.
‘There was a research study done in the 1960s that identified that people will open themselves up to a stranger on a train and tell them deep personal information they would never tell their closest friends, partially because they have this sense that they can confess.’
Existentialist philosophy isn’t about bringing despair and angst into our lives, it’s about discovering our inner freedom, explains the author of At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails. She recommends the best books on Existentialism.
The challenges – and opportunities – of our times have never been greater. Everything from our models of political participation to the very architecture of our brains is at stake, says the novelist and technology blogger Nick Harkaway.