Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.00
  • Save: $1.99 (14%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Used book in good condition. This book contains no highlighting or writing. Thank you for looking at this book. Has very little wear and tear on the cover.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Astonish Yourself: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life Paperback – July 29, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0142003138 ISBN-10: 0142003131 Edition: 1st

Buy New
Price: $12.01
58 New from $5.35 86 Used from $0.24
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.01
$5.35 $0.24
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$92.95

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

Astonish Yourself: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life + 344 Questions: The Creative Person's Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment (Voices That Matter)
Price for both: $25.60

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (July 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142003131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142003138
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Philosopher and Le Monde columnist Droit's strange and delightful little volume explores some of the biggest questions in philosophy with exercises instead of terminology-laden tracts, by encouraging readers to discover the ways in which small or familiar acts-fasting, prowling, playing, telling a stranger she's beautiful-can become "the starting point for that astonishment which gives rise to philosophy." Each of the 101 exercises is carefully, even lovingly explained, with duration, necessary props and intended effect listed first. Exercise #31, for example, instructs readers to "Watch dust in the sun": it should take about 15 minutes, a room and sunlight are needed, and its effect is "reassuring." When a ray of sunlight enters a dark room, an "invisible world" of sparkling dust reveals itself-a symbol of the "stratum of existence that is both invisible and present" always. There are other worlds within ours, Droit reminds us, worlds that we might be able to see with only a metaphoric readjustment of shutters. There are exercises to calm, to disorient, to humanize, to displace; for instance, listening to shortwave radio at night, Droit writes, will help readers realize that "perpetually around you, woven into the air...are these hundreds of voices murmuring, in dozens of unknown or unrecognizable languages, of which you know nothing, expect that they spread an obscure and changing human crust, unendingly, over everything." Already a bestseller in Europe, this volume should appeal to anyone who has ever asked questions about perception or identity, or wanted a new way to see the world and the self.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Roger Pol-Droit was born in Paris in 1949 and is a philosopher, a researcher at the Centre de la Recherche Scientifique, and a columnist for the French daily newspaper Le Monde.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
9
4 star
6
3 star
0
2 star
3
1 star
3
See all 21 customer reviews
As the author has stated, this book is about entertainment.
C. Middleton
I had fun reading it and think most people will be able to find something memorable if they actually try some of the experiments.
Greg A. Tirevold
You'll just end up frustrated, unless you're the type to cry whilst reading Hallmark cards or while watching movies on Lifetime.
Allison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By C. Middleton on May 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very strange book, but in the end, a useful one.

Experts of the mind and human behaviour have proposed that most of us carry on throughout our lives on automatic pilot. Because of habit, daily routine and repetition, we inadvertently create mental machinery to do our tasks without too much effort. As we grow older, too, our perceptions of the world have a tendency to dull, our opinions on matters political and otherwise refuse to see other perspectives, we are less inclined to learn new things, in other words, we become set in our ways. As the old saying goes: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". This text provides us with some absurd and interesting exercises designed to break down our mental machinery, shake up our preconceived notions of the world, our fixed ideas, and perhaps see the world from a clean slate. In some cases, as the title suggests, the outcomes can be astonishing.

For example, number 15, "Walk in the Dark". The duration should only be a few minutes and the effect is that uncomfortable sensation of disorientation. Interestingly, the world actually changes when we attempt to orient ourselves in pitch-black conditions. We cannot depend on the light and must use our other senses to move around. This exercise hones your other senses, changing your views on "reality" and pushes you to move into present time.

One of the exercises that I found most rewarding is number 67, "Watch someone Sleeping". Having been with my partner for some years now, I believed I knew everything about her from her eyebrows to that tiny mole on her left shoulder. Time and familiarity has a tendency to make one take for granted those things and people that we depend on the most.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Munir Hassan on June 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book serves two purposes:
(1) It is a talking point. Leave it somewhere visible, say on your coffee table, and just wait for the reactions: incredulous, unbelieving, provoking fascinated expressions, engrossed furrowed foreheads and wry smiles.
(2) It is a book of practical experiments. There is something for everyone. Count to a thousand - seems simple? Try it. Its not the monotonous regular task simple mathmatics might suggest. It is more of a rollercoaster ride, with clickety click ups, exhilerating downs, mind numbing bends... And what do we learn? According to Pol Droit - that 1,000 is a very, very big number. And 1,000,000 is emotionally incomprehensible. He's right. Call to yourself, play the animal, imagine a pile of human organs, empty a word of its meaning, kill people in your head, take the tube without going anywhere specific. This is self-help without the Oprah factor, and with lashings of delicious humour. Pol Droit's experiments are designed to help committed experimenters see the world, and their experience of it, in a context slightly out of the ordinary. Freeze frame a moment, an action, a thought and, like watching someone dancing to music without the music, the fragile architecture on which our experience of the world rests is exposed.
Try it, you might even like it. Better (or worse) still, you might discover a dark corner of yourself you never wanted to know about.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Mel N. Jolly on December 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is like propaganda for the existentially playful. If you are neither existentially inclined nor playful, this book will do nothing for you. If, however, you are both, you will like it a lot. If you have read and enjoyed Walker Percy, that will probably help.

This is not a self-help book. If you are odd, it will probably help to make you odder.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful By gcon on November 8, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
everyone could benefit from this book, but since not everyone could appreciate or understand what this book is, i could not reccommend it for everyone. this book is 101 thought experiments that, if done properly, will change how you look at things and spark new ideas and thoughts. experiments range from following ants to randomly calling people to sitting and imagining various things. there are many people who will not see the point of the book, or feel foolish or feel it is a waste of time, but chances are those people arn't reading this review. as trite as this sounds, you get out of it what you put into it. if you want this book to change yourself or become "a fuller person", you have to want it to happen. this book is a great guide, but ultimately it is you who change yourself. this book will show you how but you have to put in the effort. so i would definately reccommend it if you are looking for a way to maximize your philisophicle life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By owookiee VINE VOICE on August 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Certainly a coffee table book. Droit gives you suggestions for ways to attempt to sort of break your mind out of the normal perceptions of reality. Some of the ones I read, I had experienced previously, and noted that indeed I had wondered at, at the time, such as "Rediscover a childhood scene that seemed larger", "Watch dust in the sun", "Wake up without knowing where", and "Work on a holiday". I think my favorites were "Drink while urinating" and "Empty a word of its meaning".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Greg A. Tirevold VINE VOICE on August 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I actually dog-eared pages as I read for things I wanted to go back and try. I ended up with 41 bent pages and some memorable experiences.

"#94 Think about what other people are doing" was a favorite one as was "#22 Count to a thousand".

It is not life changing so much as simply life observing in a "stop and smell the roses" sort of way. I had fun reading it and think most people will be able to find something memorable if they actually try some of the experiments.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?