Kieran Setiya

Life Is Hard

Life Is Hard

How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way



'I adore this book . . . Setiya is a deeply astute and generous guide . . . a clear and consoling modern voice, for which I'm enormously grateful'
Derren Brown

'At last a philosopher tackles the meaning of life and comes up with useful answers' James McConnachie, Sunday Times

Pain, Loneliness, Grief, Injustice ... Hope?

For too long we've been told that positive thinking is the key to living a happy life. But from personal trauma to the injustice and absurdity of the world, sometimes simply going on can feel too much. Could there be solace - and even hope - in acknowledging the hardships of the human condition? Might doing so free us from the tyranny of striving for our "best lives" and could it inspire in us the desire for a better world? In this profound and personal book, Kieran Setiya shows how philosophy can help us find our way. He shares his own experience with chronic pain and the consolation that comes from making sense of it, and asks what we can learn from loneliness and loss about the value of human life. Drawing on ancient and modern philosophy, as well as fiction, comedy, social science and personal essay, Life is Hard shows how philosophy can ultimately help us to make the best of a bad lot: the human condition.

'Exceptionally rich and subtle' Jonathan Derbyshire, Financial Times

'Life may be hard, but Kieran Setiya shows us better ways to think about it' Katherine May, author of WINTERING