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How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question
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Simon & Schuster 2022
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Description

From the creator of The Good Place and the cocreator of Parks and Recreation, a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,400 years of deep thinking from around the world.
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.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/25/2022
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781982159337
ASIN:
B098PGY72Q

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APA Citation (style guide)

Michael Schur. (2022). How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question. Simon & Schuster.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Michael Schur. 2022. How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question. Simon & Schuster.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Michael Schur, How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question. Simon & Schuster, 2022.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Michael Schur. How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question. Simon & Schuster, 2022.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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fullDescription
From the creator of The Good Place and the cocreator of Parks and Recreation, a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,400 years of deep thinking from around the world.
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.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2021

        A Duff Cooper Prize winner for Becoming Dickens, Oxford English professor Douglas-Fairhurst argues that for Dickens the emotionally tumultuous year of 1851 was The Turning Point that singularly shaped his oeuvre. A professor of Aegean civilization at the University of Bologna, Ferrera moves from Mesopotamia and Crete to China, Central America, Easter Island, and beyond to chronicle The Greatest Invention--writing. In I Was Better Last Night, Fierstein talks about being a cultural icon, gay rights activist, and four-time Tony Award-winning actor and playwright. Emmy Award-winning writer Galloway, who created the Reporter's famed Oscar Roundtables, revisits Madly in love Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, among the first global celebrities (75,000-copy first printing). In Keats, British literary critic Miller uses verse and epitaph, e.g., "Endymion," "Bright Star," to explore the life of the English Romantic and present him less as dreamer than subversive. In a book structured as a series of letters to her book-loving father, Nafisi urges us to Read Dangerously, addressing literature as both solace and subversive power that can challenge repressive politics; originally scheduled for August 2021 (75,000-copy first printing). Oscar-nominated screenwriter, director, and actor Polley offers six essays capturing moments of her life, from stage fright to risky childbirth to healing herself after traumatic injury by retraining her mind to Run Towards the Danger, i.e., the very things that triggered her recurrent symptoms. The creator of The Good Place and cocreator of Parks and Recreation, Schur offers How To Be Perfect as a laugh-out-loud guide to living not the good life but the better life (200,000-copy first printing). Lead singer of the Ronettes--remember Be My Baby?--Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Spector recounts professional collaboration with and marriage to Phil Spector, then fighting to reclaim her musical legacy and her life (75,000-copy first printing).

        Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 15, 2021
        Schur, an Emmy Award–winning television producer and a writer for TV shows including The Office and Parks and Recreation, debuts with a zippy guide to achieving moral perfection. While writing for The Good Place, Schur pored over 2,500 years’ worth of philosophy to learn about human behavior and what it means to be good. Here, he lays out his findings, covering Aristotle’s notion of happiness as the ultimate goal, Kant’s deontology that considers happiness irrelevant, and the anguished existentialism of Sartre and Camus. Along the way, he presents questions and answers: “Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?” (he advises against it), “Should I lie and tell my friend I like her ugly shirt?” (best to find a way to be honest but soften the blow), and how to separate the art from the artist (it’s possible to hold two things as true at once, that their art is good and they are “troubling”). Schur concludes that goodness comes down to what’s inscribed on the temple at Delphi: “Know thyself.” His chatty, informal, and often irreverent style does well to balance the serious inquiries. This smart romp is sure to pique those who tend to wonder about the right way to be.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from December 1, 2021
        The acclaimed showrunner and TV writer considers philosophy and ethics. Like Schur's work on The Office, Parks and Recreation, and The Good Place, this book is both heartfelt and funny. With the assistance of "philosophical nitpicking" by professor May, Schur takes us through 13 chapters, beginning with the question "Should I Punch My Friend in the Face for No Reason?" He then moves on to increasingly trickier philosophical concepts and how best to approach them in our daily lives. Fully admitting his own limitations, Schur stresses the importance of personal connection. "The works discussed in this book are simply the ones I liked and connected with," he writes. "They're the ones that made sense to me, in a cartoon-lightbulb-turning-on-above-my-head kind of a way. This simple sense of connection matters with something like philosophy, which is a massive and diverse rain forest of ideas." In addition to delightful explorations of the history of philosophy, the author shows behind-the-scenes moments from The Good Place and touches on the strangeness that exists in the discipline--e.g., Jeremy Bentham's decision to house his remains in a hideous "skeleton-wax-head contraption" he called an "auto-icon," now on display at University College London. Moving both carefully and conversationally through progressively more difficult questions, Schur makes good on his promise to "wade into some deeply confusing and painful applications of moral philosophy, stretching and straining and chewing on really tough questions that plague us in our daily lives, that cause us anxiety and anguish and often lead to loud arguments with our closest friends and family. But in a fun way!" Whether discussing how to enjoy something that is morally problematic or debating whether we need to make moral decisions at all, the text is a relatable and consistently amusing introduction to practical philosophy. Like The Good Place, this is a humorous and thought-provoking journey into some of life's hardest questions.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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From the creator of The Good Place and the cocreator of Parks and Recreation, a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,400 years of deep thinking from around the world.
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.

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