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on 5 October 2014
Some interesting explanations here on the biological/psychological origins of desire. Overall though this is really quite a derivative work presenting other people peoples views rather than adding anything. As such it has been researched as a student might research for an essay...consequently the understanding shown in some areas is shallow.

More could have been made of the nature of consciousness and desire perhaps. Conversely, the rather obvious fact that our desires are determined by evolution is expounded at excessive length.

Irvine seems to be a teacher of American undergraduates and this book is at that level..so if you want an intro in this area this will probably be a good read. If you are looking for something meatier and already know something of evolution, psychology, the major religions and classical philosophy then you will soon be skimming through.
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on 23 August 2013
Outstanding,a must read for all who want to understand the real reason behind unhappiness and dissatisfaction . A real way that leads to life change.
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on 9 July 2013
This is great stuff. Illuminating and valuable... What would the world loook like if this was required reading? ... a much better place!
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on 15 March 2014
I enjoyed the book although it was heavy going in the middle. The last 3 chapters were the best. They covered how philosophers and eccentrics went about mastering their desires and how we can emulate them. Some of the key insights are that we should only concern ourselves with what we can control, most of our desires arise because we care about what other people think of us and therefore we should reduce the number of people whose opinion we care about and that wealth hardly compensates us for the drudgery necessary to acquire it. In summary, a good book packed with useful ideas from philosophy, religion etc on how to manage our desires and be more content.
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on 18 March 2014
I am becoming a fan of William irvine! I first read his book about the philosophy of the Stoics and got hooked on his fantastic humour and how some simple ideas can help us live a more contented life. I am planing to read all his books on lay philosophy as they are related to each other in a beautiful way.
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on 17 May 2014
An interesting subject killed, skinned and butchered by a man who insists upon waffling for the sake of waffling. The forward to next page button on my kindle is worn out after attempting to read this book. The surprising thing is even when you forward twenty pages or so he's still on about the same old thing using the same old example.A good subject needlessly slaughtered!
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