Virtual Event: Michael Schur
How to Be Perfect:
The Correct Answer to
Every Moral Question
April 22, 2022
12:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics welcome beloved television writer and producer MICHAEL SCHUR—creator of The Good Place and co-creator of Parks and Recreation—for a discussion of his new book How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by pre-ordering a copy of How to Be Perfect on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About How to Be Perfect
Most people think of themselves as “good,” but it’s not always easy to determine what’s “good” or “bad”—especially in a world filled with complicated choices and pitfalls and booby traps and bad advice. Fortunately, many smart philosophers have been pondering this conundrum for millennia and they have guidance for us. With bright wit and deep insight, How to Be Perfect explains concepts like deontology, utilitarianism, existentialism, ubuntu, and more so we can sound cool at parties and become better people.
Schur starts off with easy ethical questions like “Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?” (No.) and works his way up to the most complex moral issues we all face. Such as: Can I still enjoy great art if it was created by terrible people? How much money should I give to charity? Why bother being good at all when there are no consequences for being bad? And much more. By the time the book is done, we’ll know exactly how to act in every conceivable situation, so as to produce a verifiably maximal amount of moral good. We will be perfect, and all our friends will be jealous. OK, not quite. Instead, we’ll gain fresh, funny, inspiring wisdom on the toughest issues we face every day.
Praise for How to Be Perfect
“Read How to Be Perfect and laugh while you learn how to be a better person. And imagine what a great passive-aggressive gift this book would make! Hand it to someone and say ‘I saw this and thought of you.’ Then they say ‘Oh, did you read this?’ and you smile and say ‘I don’t need to.’” —Amy Poehler
“Have you ever wanted a friend to explain ethics so that you could understand the subject completely with minimal effort on your part? Well, meet your friend Mike Schur. This book will help guide you through the thorniest moral conundrums with clarity and hilarity, and it will greatly up your chances of ending up in…the Good Place.” —Kristen Bell
“When I was asked to write a blurb about Mike Schur’s book on ethics, I thought: no sweat, I’ll just skim a few chapters, make something up, and then lie about having read it. After reading a chapter or two, I realized I had missed the point of the book. So I read the whole thing, and I can honestly say it's brilliant. How to be Perfect takes the delightful, funny lessons of The Good Place, and applies them to everyday life.” —Ted Danson
The “Ethics in Your World” series, presented with Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, features leading thinkers taking on tough problems that matter to us all. Learn more about the Safra Center at ethics.harvard.edu.
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