"I just wanted to write a quick note saying that I think the books in the ‘Why It’s OK’ series are great. I’ve read three of them so far (Why It's OK to Want to be Rich, Why It's OK to Ignore Politics, and Why It's OK Speak Your Mind), and they’re some of the best philosophy books I’ve read in years."
Bradford Skow, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy, MIT
Philosophers often build cogent arguments for unpopular positions. Recent examples include cases against marriage and pregnancy, for treating animals as our equals, and dismissing some widely popular art as aesthetically inferior. What philosophers have done less often is to offer compelling arguments for widespread and established human behavior, like getting married, having children, eating animals, and going to the movies. But if one role for philosophy is to help us reflect on our lives and build sound justifications for our beliefs and actions, it seems odd that philosophers would neglect the development of arguments for the lifestyles most people—including many philosophers—actually lead. Unfortunately, philosophers’ inattention to normalcy has meant that the ways of life that define our modern societies have gone largely without defense, even as whole literatures have emerged to condemn them.
Why It’s OK: The Ethics and Aesthetics of How We Live seeks to remedy that. It’s a series of books that provides accessible, sound, and often new and creative arguments for widespread ethical and aesthetic values. Made up of short volumes that assume no previous knowledge of philosophy from the reader, the series recognizes that philosophy is just as important for understanding what we already believe as it is for criticizing the status quo. The series isn’t meant to make us complacent about what we value; rather, it helps and challenges us to think more deeply about the values that give our daily lives meaning.
Why It’s OK to Get Married
Christie J. Hartley
Why It’s OK to Love Bad Movies
Why It’s OK to Mind Your Own Business
Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke
Why It’s OK to Be Fat
Why It’s OK to Be a Moral Failure
Why It’s OK to Have Bad Grammar and Spelling
Why It's OK to Love Bad Movies
Why It's OK to Eat Meat
Why It's OK to Be a Slacker
Why It's OK to Speak Your Mind
Why It's OK to Enjoy the Work of Immoral Artists
Why It's OK to Be of Two Minds
Why It's OK to Want to Be Rich
Why It's OK to Ignore Politics
Why It's OK to Make Bad Choices
By Matthew Strohl
December 30, 2021
Most people are too busy to keep up with all the good movies they’d like to see, so why should anyone spend their precious time watching the bad ones? In Why it’s OK to Love Bad Movies, philosopher and cinematic bottom-feeder Matthew Strohl enthusiastically defends a fondness for disreputable ...
By Dan C. Shahar
November 10, 2021
Vegetarians have argued at great length that meat-eating is wrong. Even so, the vast majority of people continue to eat meat, and even most vegetarians eventually give up on their diets. Does this prove these people must be morally corrupt? In Why It’s OK to Eat Meat, Dan C. Shahar argues the ...
By Alison Suen
April 09, 2021
"Stop slacking off!" Your parents may have said this to you when you were deep into a video-gaming marathon. Or maybe your roommate said it to you when you were lounging on the couch scrolling through Instagram. You may have even said it to yourself on days you did nothing. But what is so bad about...
By Hrishikesh Joshi
March 09, 2021
Political protests, debates on college campuses, and social media tirades make it seem like everyone is speaking their minds today. Surveys, however, reveal that many people increasingly feel like they’re walking on eggshells when communicating in public. Speaking your mind can risk relationships ...
By Mary Beth Willard
March 02, 2021
The #metoo movement has forced many fans to consider what they should do when they learn that a beloved artist has acted immorally. One natural thought is that fans ought to give up the artworks of immoral artists. In Why It’s OK to Enjoy the Work of Immoral Artists, Mary Beth Willard argues for a ...
By Jennifer Church
September 23, 2020
Most of us experience the world through competing perspectives. A job or a religion seems important and fulfilling when looked at in one way, but from a different angle they seem tedious or ridiculous. A friend is obtuse from one point of view, wise from another. Continuing to hold both views at ...
By Jason Brennan
September 23, 2020
Finger-wagging moralizers say the love of money is the root of all evil. They assume that making a lot of money requires exploiting others, and that the best way to wash off the resulting stain is to give a lot of it away. In Why It’s OK to Want to Be Rich, Jason Brennan shows that the moralizers ...
By Christopher Freiman
August 14, 2020
Do you feel like you’re the only person at your office without an "I Voted!" sticker on Election Day? It turns out that you're far from alone – 100 million eligible U.S. voters never went to the polls in 2016. That’s about 35 million more than voted for the winning presidential candidate. In this ...
By William Glod
August 14, 2020
If we are kind people, we care about others, including others who tend to hurt themselves. We all have friends or family members who have potential but squander or even ruin their lives from things like drug abuse, unwise spending decisions, or poor dietary habits. Concern for others often ...