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What was stunning about the Proust book was de Botton's brazen annexing of a hallowed novelist to address lite emotional problems. That format is less arresting when applied to the philosophers, since which earnest philosophy major has not, from time to time, tried to apply the alpine heights of thought to his own humble worries? Usually, sophomoric attempts to turn to, say, Kant for advice on love tend to be unmitigated disasters. In de Botton's case, however, he is able to find consolation for a broken heart in Schopenhauer, consolation for inadequacy in Montaigne. Epicurus, usually associated with a love of luxury, is a solace for those of us without much money--and de Botton learns from him that "objects mimic in a material dimension what we require in a psychological one. We need to rearrange our minds but are lured towards new shelves. We buy a cashmere cardigan as a substitute for the counsel of friends."
Lest the reader become burdened by all this philosophizing, the book is peppered with illustrations--the section on Nietzsche of course includes a DC Comics drawing of Superman. And it's further leavened by the author's personal anecdotes and winning confessional tone. Early on, for instance, he admits his own gnawing need for popularity: "A desire to please led me to laugh at modest jokes like a parent on the opening night of a school play." Before he became a medicine man for the soul, de Botton was a first-rate novelist, and it shows in his writing. --Claire Dederer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I liked this book, it has some good ideas about the social philosophy with their perspectives in time matter. Quite impressingPublished 26 days ago by amadou guindo
I loved how this book was structured, linking the newly introduced philosopher to the previous one. Excellent read. Thought-provoking and engaging. I'd definitely recommend it.Published 2 months ago by Christian
An engrossing narrative on how people think about happiness from Socrates to Nietzsche. References several works of our world's greatest philosophers.Published 3 months ago by Dr.Raj
I also needed this book for a college class. I am not reading this for funPublished 3 months ago by Robert Walkowicz
The best introduction to philosophy ever written. This is perfect for anyone wanting to get the gist of what philosophy is all about.Published 3 months ago by Avenger
Used this for a class in college. Was the book I needed for cheap...Published 4 months ago by Kelli