An interactive book exploring the philosophic ideas of the good life in simple, clear language that's easy to understand. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on December 15, 2012.
About this project
The Good Life
My name is J.J., and my passion in life is helping others learn about the way that philosophy can help us understand and improve our lives. This book is the culmination of my life's work up to this point, and I am extremely passionate and excited about seeing it come to completion. The funds raised here will help me add the interactive elements to this project.
Explore the meaning of life and different ideas of what constitutes the good life with this interactive book that is written in clear, easy to understand language. I will use interactive QR codes that can be scanned using your phone in order to add additional content to this book, including access to polls, discussion forums, videos, and interviews with others!
Here's an example of a QR code that leads to my website:
Below is a preview of the topics that are covered by this book:
- Introduction to the spirit and pursuit of philosophy (Socratic Method)
- Challenges with discussing happiness
- External theories of happiness (Hedonism, Epicureanism, Utilitarianism)
- Internal theories of happiness (Stoicism, Buddhism)
- Positive psychology and the science of happiness
- Pessimism and arguments against happiness
- Virtue and happiness
- How modern media impacts happiness
- Guide to finding meaning in life
If you are able to, please pledge to see that this project can become a reality. If you’re unable to pledge or in addition to your financial contribution, you can help spread the word!
Here are four ways you can help let others know about this project:
- Email your friends asking them to check out this Kickstarter page or the website: http://www.philosophymatters.org
- Share this Kickstarter page on your Facebook wall or Twitter
- You can also share/repost the promotional videos, which you can find here.
- You can also “like” us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/PhilosophyMatters.
Follow me on Twitter @eudaimoniaLife
Thank you so much for your support!
Risks and challenges
1. Explaining philosophy in a way that's easy to understand, yet still accurate.
One of the biggest challenges any time you deal with philosophy is walking the line between discussing ideas in a way that is easy to understand but still able to accurately represent those ideas. In addition to teaching introduction to philosophy courses at the university level, I have also taught philosophy at the middle school and high school levels, which has helped me learn how to best discuss philosophy with a general audience. In addition, I have been blogging for a general audience for almost year at the site philosophymatters.org. In addition, I have published chapters in several of the pop culture and philosophy book series, such as Doctor Who and Philosophy and Radiohead and Philosophy. This experience has prepared me to be able to write a philosophy book that is approachable even by those who have never had a philosophy course or read another philosophy book in their life.
2. Completing an entire book and getting it published
Actually following through and completing a book and knowing how to get it published can be a major challenge, but I've already done so with two other books that can be found now through Amazon.com: The Effects of TV and Hugs, Kisses & All the Rest. I have the dedication and know-how to bring this project to completion!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Philosophy almost needs to be taught in groups to engage discussion and I don’t know how this is possible through the proposed medium. - See answer for full question.
Interesting idea however I’m not sure how this is different than what is already out there. The challenge I see is not providing content but making that content matter to the people you’re teaching. As a philosophy and psychology major I went through the process of looking for future careers and the main tracks that were presented were either academia, law school, or bio-ethics. This is why philosophy isn’t a popular major, there aren’t enough people who learn for the sake of learning, and universities are too expensive to go to for leisure.
I applaud that this is an effort to make philosophy more accessible however I need to know, why make a book and an online course that link to each other? The demographic this is aimed at seems to already be well versed in blogs and online mediums and would probably not get as much out of a book as they would an online forum.
Philosophy almost needs to be taught in groups to engage discussion and I don’t know how this is possible through the proposed medium.
Can you answer some of these questions before I consider backing the project?
Thank you for your comments and feedback, I think you bring up some good points.
I think you’re definitely correct about the reasons philosophy isn’t a popular major. In addition to that, most philosophy books would be very difficult for someone to pick up and understand and enjoy without having had any philosophy training. On the opposite end, you have the pop culture and philosophy series of books, a few of which I’ve contributed to myself. While there are exceptions, I’ve found that the majority of these just use the pop culture topic to introduce the facts of a particular philosophy or argument. Interesting, but not quite what I’m aiming at either. What I’ve worked hard to develop is a way to look at philosophy and how it can impact our day-to-day lives in a meaningful way.
As far as the forum goes – that makes a lot of sense because in brings in that sense of dialectic participation. My biggest frustration – and the biggest challenge, is having a sustained focus. I think it’s very difficult to read post after post after post, especially if you’re coming into a discussion that’s already ongoing. I have found myself struggling to maintain interest in similar discussions before. The book provides the opportunity to keep that sustained focus on the topic with one main voice throughout…
But the cool part for me is the interactive element, as I’m planning to get creative with these. There will be some more standard things like video interviews, etc., but I also plan to use them to link to things like forum discussions. Very often when I’m reading a book, something will strike me and I will want to go and discuss that – I hope to use that interactive element to launch into that online discussion. One of the other features I’m developing is a sort of “choose your own adventure” video series as part of the book. YouTube allows for some really cool creative projects along those lines.
Essentially, I’m hoping to create a basic book that can draw people in and make them feel comfortable with thinking about philosophy for the first time – because a lot of people don’t want to start out doing this in a group. As they become more comfortable, they can take advantage of the interactive features and become part of the dialectic process of the larger community that arises from these interactions.
- (30 days)