The Things That Really Matter

Philosophical conversations on the cornerstones of life

Edited by Michael Hauskeller

ISBN: 9781800082175

Publication: May 10, 2022

What is this?

While being rooted in the academic discourse, The Things That Really Matter comprehensively explores the most fundamental aspects of human life in an accessible, non-technical language, adding fresh perspectives and new arguments and considerations that are designed to stimulate further debate and, in some cases, a deliberate redirection of research interests in the respective areas. 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 an open-ended process and a collaborative endeavour that benefits from 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.

Michael Hauskeller is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool.


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


‘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

Format: Open Access PDF

Copyright: © 2022

ISBN: 9781800082175

Publication: May 10, 2022

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