5 Books On Ethics & Philosophy That Fans Of 'The Good Place' Will Love
Get ready, motherforkers, because The Good Place returns this September. If you're itching to be re-enrolled in Chidi's class on how to be a better person, don't worry, because there are plenty of accessible books about ethics and philosophy that you can read while you wait.
From the very first episode of The Good Place, which premiered in 2016, viewers have been hooked on Mike Shur's hilarious fantasy series, and honestly, what is not to love? It follows a group of lovable misfits, led by Kristen Bell's endlessly quotable Eleanor Shellstrop, as they navigate the afterlife and all that comes with it. A true comedic gem that is overflowing with absurd jokes, meaningful relationships, and plenty of plot twists, The Good Place is one of the best shows on TV, in my opinion. What makes The Good Place really special is the question at its core: What does it mean to be a good person?
If, like me, you can't wait to dive back into the murky waters of this very question with Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, and the rest of The Good Place crew by your side — or, at least, on your TV — then pick up one of these 5 super accessible books about ethics and philosophy. They may not be as laugh-out-loud funny as The Good Place, but they will help you better understand the themes your favorite show is all about.
'Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?' by Michael J. Sandel
In his critically acclaimed book, political philosopher Michael Sandel explores some of the most hotly debated issues of the day ― including affirmative action, abortion, and physician-assisted suicide ― through the lens of morality and justice. If you want to be a more active and better informed citizen ahead of the midterms, this is the books for you.
'Kant: A Very Short Introduction' by Roger Scruton
Get to know Chidi's favorite philosopher better in this very short, very accessible guide to Immanual Kant's theories and teachings. Written by well-known modern philosopher Roger Scrunton, this slim book is the perfect introduction to one of the most important, most influential, and most referenced moral thinkers that The Good Place characters already know and love.
'I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual' by Luvvie Ajayi
Like The Good Place proves each season, learning to be a better person is tumultuous but also... hilarious. In this "Do-Better Manual," comedian, activist, and blogger Luvvie Ajayi teaches readers all about bad behaviors and how to correct them in a series of hilarious essays. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will walk away from I'm Judging You with a brand new — hopefully more positive! — outlook on life.
'On Bullshit' by Harry G. Frankfurt
In this New York Times bestseller, author and moral philosopher Harry Frankfurt explores the concept of, well, bullshit. What exactly is bullshit, and how is it different than lying? What does it do, to individuals and to society as a whole? How can we spot it, especially when there seems to be more and more of it every day? Read this short and accessible guide to find out.
'The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis' by Martha C. Nussbaum
If you think ethics and philosophy were just subjects meant solely for academic discussion, moral philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum's new book just might change your mind. An incisive look at the country's current political crisis and the roles anger, disgust, and blame have played in shaping in, The Monarchy of Fear uses a mix of history, classical thought, current events, and morality to explain how to repair a divided nation.