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The Best Things in Life: A Contemporary Socrates Looks at Power, Pleasure, Truth & the Good Life [Paperback]

By Peter Kreeft (Author)
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Item description for The Best Things in Life: A Contemporary Socrates Looks at Power, Pleasure, Truth & the Good Life by Peter Kreeft...

Peter Kreeft's Socrates probes the contemporary values of success, power and pleasure.

Publishers Description
What are the best things in life? Questions like that may boggle your mind. But they don't boggle Socrates. The indomitable old Greek brings his unending questions to Desperate State University. With him come the same mind-opening and spirit-stretching challenge that disrupted ancient Athens. What is the purpose of education? Why do we make love? What good is money? Can computers think like people? Is there a difference between Capitalism and Communism? What is the greatest good? Is belief in God like belief in Santa Claus? In twelve short, Socratic dialogues Peter Kreeft explodes contemporary values like success, power and pleasure. And he bursts the modern bubbles of agnosticism and subjectivism. He leaves you richer, wiser and more able to discern what the best things in life actually are.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: IVP Books
Pages   190
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.28" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0877849226  
ISBN13  9780877849223  

Availability  0 units.

More About Peter Kreeft

Peter Kreeft Peter J. Kreeft (Ph.D., Fordham University) was born in 1937 and is professor of philosophy at Boston College where he has taught since 1965. A popular lecturer, he has also taught at many other colleges, seminaries and educational institutions in the eastern United States. Kreeft has written more than fifty books, including The Best Things in Life, The Journey, How to Win the Culture War and, with Ronald Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Ethics

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Apologetics

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Best Things in Life?

What are the best things in life?  Jan 6, 2008
Kreeft makes philosophy accessible to those without a university education. His "Refutation of Moral Relativism" and "Socrates Meets Jesus" are both written in a similar style: a Socratic dialog between two people. In this book, the dialogs are between the real Socrates and students at Desperate State University. Kreeft explores issues related to belief in God, success, and the value of money.
A book for the heart as well as the mind  Jan 6, 2008
When I taught 7th grade History, Literature and Theology, we used this book as a warm-up for critical thinking. I lament those that read this book without truly feeling its impact. I don't want to get carried away, but this book has the ability to change lives.

After reading Best Things in Life and Plato's The Death of Socrates, my class began to question everything. They took a long hard look at what messages they were receiving from MTV, the newspapers, even their own parents. It was as if they were peering behind the wizard's curtain for the first time. Many of them come from upper middle class homes and were under the assumption that they were going to a private school in order to go to a good college, in order to get a good job, in order to make good money, in order to live a good life. While there is nothing wrong with wanting these things, it is pure folly to think that they hold the key to fulfillment. We wonder why so many successful executives are committing suicide, hiring therapists and suffering from most of the same ills as the rest of us. Because they have been sold a bill of goods that doesn't fulfill.

Kreeft's dialogues on success, music, drugs and other relevant topics send the reader to a place few people really ever visit - the mirror. It is there that we have to gaze upon our own motives and begin to question with candor and courage why we do the crazy things we do.
I recommend this book mostly for young people who refuse to live lives of mediocrity. Also, parents of teenagers would do well to read it in order to challenge their teens to pursue that which is worth pursuing.
Socrates in the university quad  Dec 31, 2006
In this book Peter Kreeft uses a line from some of his previous books, having Socrates interact with modern characters. This time socrates finds himself in a university setting, and in his dialogues with two university students he examines many topics including sex, money, music, and ultimately objective truth.
The only drawback to this book is that at times Socrates serves only as a poor veil for the author's own beliefs. However for the most part the book is well written. In particular I found his discussion on objective values to be well written and insightful.
Good Resource!  Aug 31, 2006
Peter Kreeft is known for writing in the dialectic style. Though Kreeft is famous for using this style, he does not pull it off in this book as well as he does in some of his other books. This book is written as a dialogue or series of dialogues between Socrates and two University students. `Peter Pragma' and `Felicia Flake' both of whom have 6 discussions with Socrates on different subjects.

That is just the beginning; the names are all puns in the book, as we have seen from our two main protagonists(Peter and Felicia). The puns continue through all the professors and personalities encountered. The president of Desperate State University is "Fudge Factor" and is as inept as his name implies. We also meet "Marigold Measurer", the scientist who is addicted to data but without really understanding its purpose or use. Felicia has some mentors in her life - "Pop Syke" who is the guru of pop psychology, and "Karl", the communist who is brother to "Adam", the Capitalist.

Having read a number of Kreeft's other books, this one was a bit of a letdown. The puns with the names got to be so trying and tiring that it was hard to finish the book. The same information could have been conveyed in conventional prose, with half the words. The dialogue grew boring and irritating. I just wanted the meat from this book and had to go through a lot of bone and grist to get to it.

The book has a lot to offer in the examination of why someone does what he does, and to help one live a more examined life. But the book often does it in a very long, roundabout way.

I never like to give a book a bad review, and often go back and read a book a second time before I will do so. This book, though hard to get through the first time, was more than worth it the second time. It teaches you the basics of philosophy, the Socratic method, as well as the Oxford method, for having an argument or discussion.

Much like some of his other writings - for example, Between Heaven and Hell and Making Sense out of Suffering - this book is one I will return to and re-read many times during my lifetime. So even if it seems cheesy and trite at first, I encourage you to persevere. It will be well worth the effort.
Good, but not Kreeft's best  May 27, 2005
As an aside, let me just say that reading the book recalled fond memories of my college and graduate school years, and even reminded me of some people I knew.
The premise of the book is contained in its title: What are "the best things in life?" The modern mind is exposed as one that is so introspective that it is oblivious to the workings of logic, reason, and basic self-understanding. Thus an irony is exposed, namely the inclination toward the self-delusional of the "me" generations.
Socrates' famous dictum: "the unexamined life isn't worth living," is the central tenet of the book. Two people closely evaluate their lives and realize that everything may not be as it seems.
The hopeful effect this will have on a reader is for he or she to turn and examine his or her own life. The book makes some interesting points, and is a "lighter" read than some of Kreeft's theological and philosophical treatises.
All in all, I like the book.

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