Kindle Price: $9.99

Save $20.00 (67%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Buy for others

Give as a gift or purchase for a team or group. Learn more

Buying and sending eBooks to others

Single copy
(Sent by Amazon)
Amazon emails the eBook to a recipient on your behalf.
Learn more

Multiple copies
(Send on your own)
You send redemption links to your recipients.
Learn more

These ebooks can only be redeemed by recipients in the US. Redemption links and eBooks cannot be resold.

This item has a maximum order quantity limit.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Kindle App Ad
Great Thinkers: Simple Tools from 60 Great Thinkers to Improve Your Life Today by [Press, The School of Life]

Great Thinkers: Simple Tools from 60 Great Thinkers to Improve Your Life Today Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from

Kindle Feature Spotlight


Length: 480 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Matchbook Price: $2.99 What's this?
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.
  • Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download

"The Other Woman" by Sandie Jones
“The Other Woman is an absorbing thriller with a great twist. A perfect beach read.” ― Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of "The Great Alone" Pre-order today
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence. It addresses issues such as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one’s past, how to achieve calm and how better to understand and – where necessary – change the world. These ideas are delivered though a range of channels: from videos, books and products, to classes, events and one-to-one therapy sessions.

Headquartered in London, it operates around the globe with twelve international branches (Antwerp, Amsterdam, Berlin, Istanbul, Melbourne, Paris, São Paulo, Sydney, Seoul, Tel Aviv and Taipei). The School of Life is a rapidly growing global brand, with 3.7 million YouTube subscribers, 295,000 Facebook followers, 70,000 Instagram followers and 140,000 Twitter followers. The hugely successful School of Life Conference took place in San Francisco in March 2018, with 400 guests in attendance.

The School of Life Press brings together the writing of teachers, psychologists and philosophers under the creative direction of series editor, Alain de Botton. The aim of all the titles is to share a coherent message with one voice.

Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and now lives in London. He is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a ‘philosophy of everyday life.’ He’s written on love, travel, architecture and literature. His books have been bestsellers in 30 countries.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Aristotle 384–322 BC Aristotle was born around 384 BC in the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, where his father was the royal doctor. He grew up to be arguably the most influential philosopher ever, with modest nicknames like ‘the master’, and simply ‘the philosopher’. One of his big jobs was tutoring Alexander the Great, who soon after went out and conquered the known world. Aristotle studied in Athens, worked with Plato for several years, and then branched out on his own. He founded a research and teaching centre called The Lyceum: French secondary schools, lycées, are named in honour of this venture. He liked to walk about while teaching and discussing ideas. His followers were named Peripatetics, the wanderers. His many books are actually lecture notes. Aristotle was fascinated by how things really work. How does an embryo chick develop in an egg? How do squid reproduce? Why does a plant grow well in one place and hardly at all in another? And, most importantly, what makes a human life and a whole society go well? For Aristotle, philosophy was about practical wisdom. Here are four big philosophical questions he answered: 1. What makes people happy? In the Nicomachean Ethics – the book got its name because it was edited by his son, Nicomachus – Aristotle set himself the task of identifying the factors that lead people to have a good life, or not. He suggested that good and successful people all possess distinct virtues, and proposed that we should get better at identifying what these are, so that we can nurture them in ourselves and honour them in others. Aristotle also observed that every virtue seems to be bang in the middle of two vices. It occupies what he termed ‘the golden mean’ between two extremes of character. For example, in book four of his Ethics, under the charming title of ‘conversational virtues and vices’, Aristotle looks at ways in which people are better or worse at talking to one another – buffoonery, wit, boorishness. Knowing how to have a good conversation is one of the key ingredients of the good life, Aristotle recognised. Some people go wrong because they lack a subtle sense of humour: that’s the bore, ‘someone useless for any kind of social intercourse, because he contributes nothing and takes offence at everything’. But others carry humour to excess: ‘the buffoon cannot resist a joke, sparing neither himself nor anybody else, provided that he can raise a laugh and saying things that a man of taste would never dream of saying’. So the virtuous person is in the golden mean in this area: witty but tactful. In a fascinating survey of personality and behaviour, Aristotle analyses ‘too little’, ‘too much’ and ‘just right’ around a whole host of virtues. We can’t change our behaviour in any of these areas just at the drop of a hat. But change is possible, eventually. Moral goodness, says Aristotle, is the result of habit. It takes time, practice, encouragement. So Aristotle thinks people who lack virtue should be understood as unfortunate, rather than wicked. What they need isn’t scolding or being thrown into prison, but better teachers and more guidance. 2. What is art for? The blockbuster art at the time was tragedy. Athenians watched gory plays at community festivals held at huge open-air theatres. Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles were household names. Aristotle wrote a how-to-write-great-plays manual, The Poetics. It’s packed with great tips: for example, make sure to use peripeteia, a change in fortune, when, for the hero, things go from great to awful. And anagnorisis, the moment of dramatic revelation, when suddenly the hero realises their life is going very wrong – and is, in fact, a catastrophe. But what is tragedy actually for? What is the point of a whole community coming together to watch horrible things happening to lead characters? Like Oedipus, in the play by Sophocles, who by accident kills his father, gets married to his mother, finds out he’s done these things and gouges out his eyes in remorse and despair. Aristotle’s answer is catharsis. Catharsis is a kind of cleaning: you get rid of bad stuff. In this case, cleaning up our emotions – specifically, our confusions around the feelings of fear and pity. We’ve got natural problems here: we’re hard-hearted, we don’t give pity where it’s deserved, and we’re prone to either exaggerated fears or not getting frightened enough. Tragedy reminds us that terrible things can befall decent people, including ourselves. A small flaw can lead to a whole life unravelling. So we should have more compassion or pity for those whose actions go disastrously wrong. We need to be collectively retaught these crucial truths on a regular basis. The task of art, as Aristotle saw it, is to make profound truths about life stick in our minds. 3. What are friends for? In books eight and nine of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle identifies three different kinds of friendship: there’s friendship that comes about when each person is seeking fun, their chief interest is in their own pleasure and the opportunity of the moment, which the other person provides. Then there are friendships that are really strategic acquaintances, where people take pleasure in each other’s company only in so far as they have hopes of taking advantage of it. Then, there’s the true friend. Not someone who’s just like you, but someone who isn’t you, and about whom you care as much as you care about yourself. The sorrows of a true friend are your sorrows. Their joys are yours. It makes you more vulnerable, should anything befall this person. But it’s hugely strengthening too. You’re relieved from the too-small orbit of your own thoughts and worries. You expand into the life of another, and together you become larger, cleverer, more resilient, more fair-minded. You share virtues and cancel out each other’s defects. Friendship teaches us what we ought to be: it is, quite literally, the best part of life. 4. How can ideas cut through in a busy world? Like a lot of people, Aristotle was struck by the fact that the best argument doesn’t always win the debate or gain popular traction. He wanted to know why this happens and what we can do about it. He had lots of opportunity for observations. In Athens, many decisions were made in public meetings, often in the agora, the town square. Orators would vie with one another to sway popular opinion. Aristotle plotted the ways audiences and individuals are influenced by many factors but don’t strictly engage with logic or the facts of the case. It’s maddening, and many serious people can’t stand it. They avoid the marketplace and popular debate. Aristotle was more ambitious. He invented what we still call rhetoric – the art of getting people to agree with you. He wanted thoughtful, serious and well-intentioned people to learn how to be persuasive, to reach those who don’t agree already. He makes some timeless points: you have to soothe people’s fears, you have to see the emotional side of the issue – is someone’s pride on the line? Are they feeling embarrassed? – and edge around it accordingly. You have to make it funny because attention spans are short, and you might have to use illustrations and examples to make your point come alive. We’re keen students of Aristotle. Today, philosophy doesn’t sound like the most practical activity; maybe that’s because we’ve not paid enough attention recently to Aristotle.

Product details

  • File Size: 31629 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: The School of Life Press (August 4, 2016)
  • Publication Date: August 4, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01JTIJ388
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,371 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

October 18, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
12 people found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
October 18, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
10 people found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
April 24, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
4 people found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
April 1, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
April 28, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
December 30, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
June 14, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
April 13, 2018
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase

Most recent customer reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Great Thinkers: Simple Tools from 60 Great Thinkers to Improve Your Life Today
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Great Thinkers: Simple Tools from 60 Great Thinkers to Improve Your Life Today