Hall’s new book clears a rare middle way for her reader to pursue happiness, what the ancient Greeks called eudaimonia, usually translated as well-being or prosperity ... Hall excels when she is at her most frank ... I finished Hall’s book largely convinced but equally worried: Was this the sort of message that could reach the readership that needed it most? Could a virtuous happiness trump greed and cynicism? Maybe ... Those most in need of ethical training are probably the least likely to spend $27 on a moral guidebook. There is, however, hope.
A practical and enjoyable guide to Aristotle’s philosophy as a recipe for contentment in the modern world ... It can be quite a leap between old and new ... It’s surprising how comfortably Aristotle’s philosophy fits with voguish concepts such as mindfulness and self-love ... Greek philosophy can sometimes get lost in translation, but Hall is excellent at explaining what lies behind words such as ‘vice’ and ‘virtue’...She is also sensitive to the difficulties of living according to the precepts of a philosopher who believed that women possessed less intellectual potential than men ... moves seamlessly from issuing practical advice drawn from Aristotle’s writings to analysing his principal ideas, weaving in some surprising material along the way.
Unlike Plato, who saw the passions as unruly beasts to be tamed, Aristotle thought that our job was to tune them ... Ms. Hall does a good job of explaining this and many other Aristotelian ideas, bringing them to life with vivid examples ... But on many occasions Ms. Hall brings too much of herself to her subject, presenting her contemporary version of Aristotle rather than the ancient Greek original ... Aristotle’s Way has much to commend it: It raises the profile of the great philosopher, makes the relevance of his key ideas plain and will encourage people to read his classic Nicomachean Ethics. But while it preserves most of the gold to be found in the ancient source material, the effort to mine Aristotle’s thought for a happiness-seeking age makes the book’s message, if more palatable, less potent.