What is Good? The Search for the Best Way to Live by A C Grayling - review by Hazhir Teimourian

Hazhir Teimourian

Wise Words

What is Good? The Search for the Best Way to Live


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 241pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

How APPROPRIATE THAT I should be reading this survey of ideas about the good life in Western history here in Greece, where the everyday philosophising of Homo sapiens was first raised to the level of formal discussion in academies and given the name of philosophy. Furthermore, as you watch the local people with their relaxed lifestyles, you cannot help but reflect on the qualities of the ideal life yourself. In the hot afternoons, under canopies of vines and mulberry trees, young couples whisper their own versions of eternal truths to each other over glasses of beer and Kalamata olives (favourites of Herodotus), before going for a long splash in the clear waters, while their elders take a snooze on a shaded balcony or play backgammon - a Persian borrowing - in the alleyways.

But, of course, by the good life philosophers mean more than 'A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou', and the scope of Anthony Grayling's latest book is far wider than a recital of who said what over the past 3,000 years about how individuals could have

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March

A Mirror - Westend

Follow Literary Review on Twitter