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How Luck Changes the Way We View the World cover art

How Luck Changes the Way We View the World

Written by: Daniel Breyer,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Daniel Breyer
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Publisher's Summary

“You've got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” Most of us are familiar with this famous line from the movie Dirty Harry. But perhaps the more important “one question” you should be asking yourself is: “What does lucky even mean?” 

If you believe in luck — or if you absolutely do not believe in luck, join Associate Professor of Philosophy Daniel Breyer as he makes the case for the essential role that luck plays in our lives — and has played throughout human history. In this 10-part overview, he will give you a completely new appreciation for the surprising interplay between luck, responsibility, and free will.  

Using the lens of real-life stories, as well as sharing a plethora of views on the subject from philosophers, writers, and leaders, Dr. Breyer demonstrates how luck affects our views of happiness, success, justice, and knowledge. Armed with the teachings of Aristotle, Richard Wiseman, Neil Levy, and others, Breyer presents the pros and cons of arguments that aim to show that luck undermines free will and renders moral responsibility impossible. You’ll consider fascinating cases of so-called moral luck that just might convince you to reconsider your most basic moral judgments. And you’ll even explore the science of luck (yes, there is such a thing), as well as epistemic luck — a kind of luck that threatens to undermine knowledge itself. 

Perhaps most lucky of all, he’ll reveal practical tips for how to make your own luck, no matter what your fortunes bring.

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What listeners say about How Luck Changes the Way We View the World

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  • Flying Girl
  • 18-12-21

The dumbest topic ever

I have hundreds of audiobooks and this is the worst one hands down. The topic seemed a little interesting and then it just gets into splitting hairs on the types of luck there are. After about ten minutes, I cringed and had to stop it. With all the topics in the world…you made an audiobook about luck? I would sum up your choice to make luck sound terrible and my choice to listen as bad luck.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Mike the Wonder Boy
  • 17-01-22

Not worth the time

Breyer's logic is so faulty, I couldn't stand to listen to it. His assertion that drunk drivers aren't responsible for those they kill, because it was just a matter of luck, is stunningly stupid. It completely ignores the many decisions the drunk made to set the stage for some poor soul to be killed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • C Wood
  • 08-01-22

life, random events and choices

made me think about how I got to where I
am today. love the farmer at the end

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leauwa
  • 02-01-22

Boring

I have dozens of titles from The Great Courses and this is so boring I cannot...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Susan
  • 23-12-21

He is sincere

I like this guy. I love his backstory and how he became attracted to the idea of luck and The study of philosophy. Perhaps one has to appreciate philosophy and the type of thinking that makes a philosopher to enjoy this book. I wish I did.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sunny J
  • 25-01-23

Steadfast

So grateful to hear your voice and hear your ideas. Smart as ever. Much happiness and joy to you! Sunny

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  • Zincht
  • 16-09-22

Very dense topics

The theories and rhetoric are very well reasoned, but a bit too concise for casual listening. Examples come quickly, and are hard to keep track of, to keep the topics clear and separate in the mind, and to reference as they are discussed. While the study seems complete, each lecture seems to suffer from not quite enough time to understand and embrace each concept.

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  • Lisa
  • 19-02-22

Good to a point

Pro: interesting philosophy of luck
Very in-depth
Con: Felt like author was reading a bit to carefully
Lots of terminology was difficult to understand

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-01-22

Too Many Tangents

The first and last chapters / lessons were excellent. However Two following chapters about the moral equivalency of two drunk drivers who roll up on a sidewalk where one is unlucky and kills someone and how do we judge them was infuriating. They never once reference the unlucky person who was killed. It’s all about the two drivers and then adding in third and fourth drunk drivers with different scenarios. That’s not luck, it’s consequences of bad decisions. I thought the book had a great premise and really enjoyed the first and last lessons but that middle was difficult to get through. Excellent narration though to end in a positive. The author is lucky he has soothing pleasant voice.

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  • Kevin
  • 09-12-21

propaganda. Don't waste your time.

I've listened to many great courses, this was the worst. Glad I didn't pay money for this one! Offensive, suppressive.. And I'm a woman!