Kieran Setiya

discusses

Midlife:
A Philosophical Guide

This event includes a book signing

Date

Oct
16
Monday
October 16, 2017
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes MIT philosopher KIERAN SETIYA for a presentation of his new book, Midlife: A Philosophical Guide.

About Midlife

How can you reconcile yourself with the lives you will never lead, with possibilities foreclosed, and with nostalgia for lost youth? How can you accept the failings of the past, the sense of futility in the tasks that consume the present, and the prospect of death that blights the future? In this self-help book with a difference, Kieran Setiya confronts the inevitable challenges of adulthood and middle age, showing how philosophy can help you thrive.

You will learn why missing out might be a good thing, how options are overrated, and when you should be glad you made a mistake. You will be introduced to philosophical consolations for mortality. And you will learn what it would mean to live in the present, how it could solve your midlife crisis, and why meditation helps.

Ranging from Aristotle, Schopenhauer, and John Stuart Mill to Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir, as well as drawing on Setiya’s own experience, Midlife combines imaginative ideas, surprising insights, and practical advice. Writing with wisdom and wit, Setiya makes a wry but passionate case for philosophy as a guide to life.

Praise

"As someone who has suffered from a midlife crisis since the age of seven, I found Kieran Setiya's Midlife: A Philosophical Guide both instructive and consoling. If it fails to slim the waistline or stave off death, it nevertheless proves, like a trusted spouse or pet, a very companionable guide on the way to the void. It may even make you, as it did me, see the virtue of being forty-two." —Joshua Ferris, author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

"Kieran Setiya's new book is an elegant application of philosophy to the midlife crisis. Whatever your preoccupations on the subject, you will find strategies here important to your peace of mind. Written with urgency and wit, the book has a great mix of philosophy, personal narrative, and practical wisdom. Highly recommended." —Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of Doubt: A History

"In this engaging and insightful book, Kieran Setiya uses the resources of philosophy to illuminate and help allay some familiar forms of anxiety and distress that afflict people just when they are in the prime of their lives." —Samuel Scheffler, author of Death and the Afterlife

"Kieran Setiya’s Midlife is a sort of cognitive cleanser laying bare the issues we all face at midlife and beyond. Invoking philosophers from Mill to Schopenhauer, the book offers wise and lucid insights on our inevitable regrets, fear of death, and need for enjoyment as well as meaning. It’s succinct, so savor it slowly." —John Allen Paulos

Kieran Setiya
Kieran Setiya

Kieran Setiya

Kieran Setiya is Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of Reasons without Rationalism (Princeton) and Knowing Right from Wrong. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and son.

Photo credit: Heather Kresge

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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info@harvard.com

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