johnwsaunders

The Age of Absurdity, Michael Foley

In Book reviews on May 27, 2011 at 3:10 am

The great philosophical and religious thinkers throughout the ages have exhibited a great deal of overlap in their prescriptions for a happy life, Foley tells us in this mix of philosophy, psychology and polemic. Unfortunately, modern life militates relentlessly against living such a life, he says. Using various insights provided by psychology and neurology into the human condition, Foley talks about various areas of life, and shows how difficult in can be to follow the insights provided by the thinkers he cites. How can we be free from desire for wordly success and material objects in a consumerist society? When contentment arises from trying, what should be done in a litigious, rights-orientated world, with a ‘cult of entitlement’? Foley offers few prescriptions himself, merely pointing out the absurdity of the way we live, but the lessons to be drawn are manifold.

Fun fact: activists try to undermine consumerism by seling t-shirts and merchandise

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