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Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love Paperback – January 4, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
“A funny and oddly moving history of philosophy as tortured erotic dysfunction.” (Neal Pollack, author of Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude)
“Fascinating, thought-provoking and mildly disturbing... Also, if you are considering dating an eminent philosopher, you need to buy this right now.” (A.J. Jacobs, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All)
“Indispensable advice for all lovers—and especially for those who think they should learn about the art of love from philosophers. A wonderful summary of the musings on love by some of history’s greatest and most idiosyncratic minds.” (Clancy Martin, editor of Love, Lies, and Marriage)
“Amazing stories! Incredible quotes! Sordid details! This book shows that a genius in the realm of thought can be a dummy in the land of love. It’s a hilarious and provocative warning, full of cautionary tales for us all. Enjoy it and share it with someone you love!” (Tom Morris, author of If Aristotle Ran General Motors)
“[A]n entertaining romp through the seamy side of philosophy... highlighting the hypocrisy and downright ineptness of those who too often counted as our ‘greatest thinkers’ in this crucial, if so often overlooked, area of sexual politics...” (Martin Cohen, editor of The Philosopher)
“A fun way to learn about the lives and loves of the great thinkers.” (William Irwin, co-editor of The Simpsons and Philosophy)
“Shaffer’s jaunty compendium of highbrow heartbreak provides proof positive that even the most brilliant of minds can fall afoul of Cupid—and offers some measure of hope to the lovelorn.” (Publishers Weekly)
“If you’re in dutch with your valentine, give him Andrew Shaffer’s book, which recounts the tortured love lives of 37 thinkers. Compared to them, you’ll look as saintly as St. Thomas himself—who, Shaffer tells us, once chased a prostitute out of his room with a hot poker.” (Martha Stewart Whole Living)
“Eye-opening, funny, and frequently shocking.” (the Cedar Rapids Gazette)
“[An] amusing essay in highbrow schadenfreude...most of the philosophers, giant throbbing intellects and all, simply screwed up like the rest of us.” (Maclean's)
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Top Customer Reviews
From 1910 to 1913 Wittgenstein had an intense attachment to Pinset that was so great that after the other's death, Wittgenstein dedicated a major philosophical work to him.
Sadly, Wittgenstein's later loves would all be unrequited...which is probably not that surprising if you actually ever read any of Wittgenstein's works.
Though many reviewers have shown a marked unwillingness to appreciate this book in the tongue in cheek way it was actually written, I actually found it to be a brief and humourous treatment. And I actually enjoyed the sense of satisfaction at being able to laugh at these individuals whose meandering and often all too wrong theories about life and its meaning have been thrust on me both in and out of academia.
So if you have a sense of humour, by all means read this book. But if you think you're going to quibble over either this book's premise or his pocket descriptions of the philosophers' philosophies, then by all means do something else.
Who knows? If you're a philosopher yourself and really don't like this book you may just choose to re-read all the philosophies discussed and being a philosopher you'll probably have a lot of free Saturday nights for just that purpose.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book very interesting! I thought it was great how many of the people in the book had such strong opinions on a subject that many of them failed at miserably!! Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by saisha
Short overviews of the affairs and moral failings of those we mortals assume are wiser and better than the rest of us humans.Published on April 5, 2013 by nancy
Would have been a more interesting read if it had been organized chronologically. I kept having to flip back and forth to get myself oriented as to the era in which the... Read morePublished on March 28, 2013 by janegrace
Any form of human science is likely to make itself impossible and prohibited when social splatology includes the mentalities of a diverse sample that includes the twisted lives... Read morePublished on March 23, 2012 by snap shot hex
Logical positivism, existentialism, whatever--it seems the greatest minds of all time came a cropper on the most basic application of philosophy, how to live. Read morePublished on November 22, 2011 by R. K. Ltd
This is a great book for anyone to read---whether you enjoy philosophy or not. It humanizes these great minds and proves that no matter who you are, love can tear you down or build... Read morePublished on April 13, 2011 by C. Trudeau