Episode Date August 24, 2021
Featured Guest Kieran Setiya
Featured Book "Nicomachean Ethics" by Aristotle

Episode Summary

Kieran Setiya reading from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and discussing how to cope with experiencing a midlife crisis.

Here’s a saying I heard once – it used to be hilarious, now I guess it’s just painfully true: “Inside every old person is a young person wondering ‘What the hell just happened here?!’” When you hit midlife, is it just a slower, creakier version of being a thirty-year-old, or do things actually shift? What is contentment or ambition? What actually matters?

Kieran Setiya is a professor of philosophy at MIT in Boston, and the author of Midlife: A Philosophical Guide. In this episode, he shares the fundamentals of navigating problems and finding existential value in the midst of a crisis.

Kieran reads two pages from ‘Nicomachean Ethics’ by Aristotle. [reading begins at 7:50]

Hear us discuss:

  • Atelic activities and existential value. [13:37]
  • When to settle and when to disrupt: “Looking for an algorithm to tell you how to solve your life is not the way to do it.” [18:59]
  • Death’s role in shaping a meaningful life: “Thinking about the finitude of human life has changed my sense of what actually matters.”  [24:41]
  • Changes in ambition when navigating midlife. [31:18]

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Kieran Setiya | Twitter

Kieran Setiya’s book | Midlife: A Philosophical Guide | Knowing Right From Wrong

Aristotle | Nicomachean Ethics

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

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