Sunday, May 30, 2010


While browsing through the Popular Bookstore at Jurong Point 1 this morning, a book title suddenly caught my personal attention. It was 'How Philosophy Can Save Your Life', by Marietta McCarty, an assistant professor of philosophy.

From the back cover of the book, I gathered that the book was framed around ten "big ideas"- themes that, according to the author, would be necessary to grasp if one wants to live a truly fulfilling & enriching life.

They are:

1. Simplicity (philosophers include Epicurus and Charlotte Joko Beck)

2. Communication (philosophers include bell hooks and Karl Jaspers)

3. Perspective (philosophers include Bertrand Russell and Mary Wollstonecraft)

4. Flexibility (philosophers include Socrates, Plato and Alan Watts)

5. Empathy (philosophers include the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King, Jr.)

6. Individuality (philosophers include Jean-Paul Sartre and Elizabeth Spelman)

7. Belonging (philosophers include Albert Camus and Rita Manning)

8. Serenity (philosophers include Epictetus and Lao Tzu)

9. Possibility (philosophers include John Stuart Mill and Simone de Beauvoir)

10. Joy (philosophers include Shunryu Suzuki and Jane Addams)

From what I could gather from quick skimming & brisk scanning, the author argued how the heartbeats of philosophy - clear thinking, quiet reflection, and good conversation - would be essential ingredients in a well-lived life.

Makes a lot of sense, especially in today's busy world. I concur that reflecting actively, recognising priorities, embracing tolerance, maintaining flexibility and broadening perspectives are essential to success achievement.

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