The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton

I suppose some will look down on a book like this as ‘popular philosophy’ but I think it is brilliant and very enjoyable. The author takes a handful of common things for which we need consolation – unpopularity, not having enough money, frustration, inadequacy, a broken heart and difficulties – and matches each with a philosopher whose thought throws some interesting light on them. Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche respectively.

It is illuminating and, more than anything, entertaining and a pleasure to read from start to finish. It is humorous and full of amusing pictures, as well.

First class.


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