1st Edition

Why It's OK to Mind Your Own Business

By Justin Tosi, Brandon Warmke Copyright 2023
    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    Every year, millions of students in the United States and around the world graduate from high school and college. Commencement speakers—often distilling the hopes of parents and four years of messaging from educators—tell graduates that they must do something grand, ambitious, or far-reaching. Change the world. Disrupt the status quo. Every problem in the world is your problem, awaiting your solutions.

    This book is an antidote to that advice. It provides a clear-eyed assessment of three types of people who tend to believe and promote a commencement speaker’s view of the world: the moralizer, who imposes unnecessary social costs by inappropriately enforcing morality; the busybody, who thinks the stranger and close friend merit equal shares of our benevolent attention; and the pure hearted, who equates acting with good intentions with just outcomes. The book also provides a bold defense of living an ordinary life by putting down roots, creating a good home, and living in solitude. A quiet, peaceful life can be generous and noble. It’s OK to mind your own business.

    1. The View from the Podium
    2. The Moralizer
    3. The Busybody
    4. Meaning Well
    5. Roots
    6. Home
    7. Solitude


    Justin Tosi is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Texas Tech University. With Brandon Warmke, he is the author of Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk (Oxford University Press, 2020).

    Brandon Warmke is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University. With Justin Tosi, he is the author of Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk (Oxford University Press, 2020).

    “Tosi and Warmke prove a surprising thesis: to make the world a better place, most of us should stop trying to make the world a better place. The people who think they can save the world tend to make it worse, in part because they oversimplify problems and push counterproductive solutions, and in part because moralizers and busybodies make themselves and others miserable. People who set out to be heroes tend to become villains. Ordinary people leading quiet lives, working regular jobs and raising their families, are to be commended, not scolded for not thinking bigger. Why Its OK to Mind Your Own Business is a wise reflection on ordinary wisdom. It’s a book everyone should read when young, again when middle-aged, and once more when old.”
    Jason Brennan, Georgetown University