Skip to main content

Distributed for UCL Press

The Things That Really Matter

Philosophical Conversations on the Cornerstones of Life

Distributed for UCL Press

The Things That Really Matter

Philosophical Conversations on the Cornerstones of Life

A comprehensive exploration of the most fundamental aspects of human life through accessible conversations with contemporary philosophers.

While rooted in academic discourse, The Things That Really Matter comprehensively explores the most fundamental aspects of human life in approachable, non-technical language, adding fresh perspectives and new arguments and considerations that are designed to stimulate further debate. It features a series of conversations about the things in our life that we all, in one way or another, wrestle with if we are at all concerned about what kind of world we live in and what our role in it is: things like birth, age, and death, good and evil, the meaning of life, the nature of the self and the role the body plays for our identity, our gendered existence, love and faith, free will, beauty, and our experience of the sacred.
Situating abstract ideas in concrete experience, The Things That Really Matter encourages the reader to participate in an open-ended dialogue involving a variety of thinkers with different backgrounds and orientations. Lively and accessible, it shows thinking as a process and a collaborative endeavor that benefits from our talking to each other rather than against each other, featuring real conversations, where ideas are explored, tested, changed, and occasionally dropped. It is thinking in motion, personal yet universal.

304 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

Philosophy: Philosophy of Society

UCL Press image

View all books from UCL Press


This is a valuable and distinctive book showing how philosophy can be a constructive process of shared exploration of the world and our place in it as living, thinking and feeling beings. It is a refreshing alternative to the adversarial and defensive method that dominates much of contemporary philosophy, and a lively and engaging resource for discussing the Big Questions.

Walter Glannon, University of Calgary

Table of Contents

Introduction Contributors 1. Meaning with Drew Chastain 2: Agency with Helen Steward 3. Body with Lewis Coyne 4. Gender with Holly Lawford-Smith 5. Age with Christine Overall 6. Self with Jane Heal 7. Goodness with Alexander Badman-King 8. Evil with Alexander Badman-King 9. Death with Panayiota Vassilopoulou 10. Birth with Alison Stone 11. Love with Troy Jollimore 12. Faith with Brian Treanor 13. Beauty with Elaine Scarry 14. Sacredness with Drew Chastain Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press