Suggested readings, #32

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

What John Rawls missed. Are his principles for a just society enough today? [Good article, though I remain convinced that Rawls missed precious little.] (New Republic)

A problem based reading of Nussbaum’s virtue ethics. [Yeah, there are a lot of problems there…] (Medium)

The meaning to life? A Darwinian existentialist has his answers. [Interesting observations about life, the universe, and everything from veteran philosopher of science Michael Ruse] (Aeon)

What Netflix can teach us about the paradox of choice. Today’s dizzying number of options might just be making us miserable. (Medium)

We don’t actually want to be happy. Chess helps answer the perennial human question, “What should I do next?” (New York Times)

The Spartan philosophy of life. Maxims from ancient Sparta still relevant today. (Medium)

The happiness ruse. How did feeling good become a matter of relentless, competitive work; a never-to-be-attained goal which makes us miserable? (Aeon)

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Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at and He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.

One thought on “Suggested readings, #32”

  1. Per Walter Kaufman’s Without Guilt and Justice, and my own reading, we’ll continue to disagree on Rawls. He has the same problems as other utilitarians — a truly accurate view from nowhere simply isn’t possible, along with everything related to that. Hence, per the title of Kaufman’s book, who can say a possible action truly is just?


    On the piece on chess, is it that we don’t want to be happy, or if you tie it to other pieces you have this week, and per Γνωθι σεαυτον! many people just don’t know how to be happy in a way that doesn’t follow the madding crowd? That said, I obviously agree on the piece at Aeon; on the Netflix piece, I will blame too much capitalism for pushing too much choice.

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