The Best Things in Life: A Guide to What Really Matters by Thomas Hurka

Category: Decision-Making

(100 von 100)

Why: I want to understand business in life as a part of a whole.
Goal: Learn how to live a good life as an entrepreneur from a philosophical view.

Action: Well-Rounded Life, Have Them All.

3 Key Concepts

  1. Don’t pursue pleasure, it is impossible.
  2. Go BIG!!
  3. First, you must have choices.


Pre-read material: Learn about the author: link

How to live a well-rounded life?

The author argues that it is more realistic for most people and, hence, better to live a well-rounded life. Where your balance between knowledge and achievement.

All the goods at a reasonably high level: pleasure, knowledge, achievement, virtue.

This book shows the essential role that philosophy plays us think fundamental assumptions about goods in life.

  • Should we value family over career?
  • How do we balance self-interest and serving others?
  • What activities bring us the most joy?

He stresses that there isn’t just one good in life but many.

What is a good life?

Epicurus and Jeremy Bentham believed that the only ultimate good is a pleasure.

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle thought the greatest good is knowledge and, more specifically, philosophical discussion or contemplation.

The unexamined life is not worth living.


The Stoics and Immanuel Kant thought the only good is moral virtue — neither pleasure nor knowledge has true worth.

Karl Marx said our good is free creativity.

Friedrich Nietzsche with exercising a will to power

Others with religious devotion to God.

Thomas Hurka says they all should be mixed.

The Goal Cannot Be Pleasure.

“paradox of hedonism”: that the best way to get pleasure is by not trying to.

Numbers matter.

Go big! How many people’s lives you have touched on matters.

Freedom comes from having choices.

It only matters when you are the captain of your own ship. Otherwise, doing the thing you do is just a circumstance.

To sum up

The key takeaway from the book is that there isn’t just one intrinsic good but many, pleasure, virtue, knowledge, achievement, and possibly more.

To live a good life you need to be happy, understand things, and achieve worthwhile goals. Also, have good morals.

Thomas Hurka
brown man face figurine
It is a mix.

Goal check: I learned that good life is a mix of good decisions from choices.

Wasu’s Review
( 3.5 / 5.0 )

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