Featured Book: Life is Short


“This book,” its author attests, “is principally about using your most precious resource, time, wisely and more effectively—and also more consciously, with an awareness of how extraordinary it is that you have any time at all.” Dean Rickles is a history and philosophy of modern physics professor at Australia’s University of Sydney.

It’s as philpapers.org explains, “[T]he finiteness and shortness of life is the essence of its meaning…[and] this insight is the key to making the most of the time we have. Life is Short explores how death limits our options, and forces us to make choices that forge a life….” Rickles himself puts it this way in The Conversation’s December 15, 2022, posting : “[D]eath is our greatest gift in terms of meaningful existence, since it is the very source of choice, of having to decide…. Decisive action is you being in control of what happens.”

Shelf Awareness calls this book both “a deeply engaging and thought-provoking study of life,” and “a meditative gem that is as intellectually astute as it is accessible.” Publishers Weekly is just as enthusiastic: “The thoughtful treatment of big ideas is matched by a lucid presentation that achieves accessibility without sacrificing intellectual heft.”  

Life is Short: An Appropriately Brief Guide to Making it More Meaningful
By Dean Rickles
Princeton University Press, 2022