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9 Reviews
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The odd couple brings wisdom and wit
Baggini, an Aristotelian philosopher, teams up with Macaro, an existential psychotherapist, and takes the reader through a heady, winding, but absolutely breathtaking ride through the landscape of life as we see it - and more importantly, as we should see it. They cover the ground like a pair of heavy tag-team wrestlers, grasping one common assumption after another and...
Published on 16 July 2012 by Hande Z

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Shrink and the Sage
I found this book to be very contradictory. Each topic features both 'The shrink's view and 'the sage' which were both very different. I guess you have to decide at the beginning of the book which one you are ore like to be able to follow the right advise. But even within each persons view I would find them saying 'This is a good idea but you don't want to much of it...
Published 19 months ago by Victoria


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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The odd couple brings wisdom and wit, 16 July 2012
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Baggini, an Aristotelian philosopher, teams up with Macaro, an existential psychotherapist, and takes the reader through a heady, winding, but absolutely breathtaking ride through the landscape of life as we see it - and more importantly, as we should see it. They cover the ground like a pair of heavy tag-team wrestlers, grasping one common assumption after another and tearing it apart before rejoining it as a different article. Take the beautification of our appearances for example. Should we bother? If life is reason what is the need to worry about how we look? Appearances make hypocrites of all of us they say. We are constantly told not to "judge a book by its cover" and yet we do so all the time. We praise the virtue of humility yet not see the importance of pride in the development of our self. In one segment, they talk about what we should do before we die, and there, they envisage the spectre of death for us and provide their thoughts as to how we can deal with death through psychology and philosophy. "Just where death is expecting you is something we cannot know; so for your part, expect him everywhere." They both hold great store in cultivating the ability to detach ourselves from things without detaching ourselves from life. That is a fine balancing act. The authors have some useful training exercises.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radio 4 as a starting point, 5 July 2012
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J. Stapleton "Spartiate" (South West England) - See all my reviews
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Ordered this book after hearing Julian Baggini talking to Andrew Marr on Radio 4 about his ideas of ancient philosophy being relevant to humanity in the present day.
It proved to be an excellent book, never dogmatic, clear,reasonable and nothing supernatural. Having read a few books lately on life , happiness etc this is the one I wanted to write a review of.
Am now reading'Whats it all about?' by the same author, no need to say more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous insight!, 11 Jan 2014
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Mature User (Eynsford, England) - See all my reviews
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The authors weekly column in the Saturday FT magazine is a treat. They drill down into less general issues than the book, such as "How important is luck" the other week. They are so brilliant that I tear them out and keep them in a folder.

This book is highly important to anyone prepared to challenge their own assumptions on what truly matters in life and to question their values. Sadly, it will be lost on most of us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, thought-provoking and enjoyable, 17 Dec 2013
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Jim H (Peterborough, UK) - See all my reviews
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I have for years been rather suspicious of both philosophers and psychologists but this book has changed that. It is full of good sense and I am really enjoying reading it. You may have heard it all before, but I haven't - certainly not in the interesting way it is done here. I can see that if you have studied these subjects in some depth already, this is not the book for you. For those less well informed it is fine.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly worth reading, 17 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Shrink and the Sage (Kindle Edition)
Accessible, easily digestible guide to modern living. Highly relevant and recommended as an introduction to practical philosophy with psychology thrown in.

The only bit I was less keen on was the out of context quoting of Buddhism as fatalistic... Focusing only on "life is suffering" tells only part of the truth about Buddhism. If the rest of the noble truths were taken into account they would have disproved the author's point rather than the other way round.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Shrink and the Sage, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Shrink and the Sage (Kindle Edition)
I found this book to be very contradictory. Each topic features both 'The shrink's view and 'the sage' which were both very different. I guess you have to decide at the beginning of the book which one you are ore like to be able to follow the right advise. But even within each persons view I would find them saying 'This is a good idea but you don't want to much of it because that can be bad.', leaving very confused as to whether I was trying to be aspiring to something or avoiding something. I gave up reading before the end because rather than giving me an uplifting view of how to better myself and live a better life, I actually found it quite depressing because it seems to suggest that happiness is unachievable!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read if you're into this sort of stuff, 31 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Shrink and the Sage (Kindle Edition)
I liked the juxtaposition of the psychological viewpoint and philosophy. It's a nice light read and anybody with an interest will be able to get into it.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time, 24 Sep 2012
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Miss Vl Ward "Vicky" (Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Shrink and the Sage (Kindle Edition)
I have optimistically given the book two stars, not having read part two yet and hoping that perhaps it might redeem itself in part two.
The book is easy to read, the questions are engaging, the problem is that this is all there is. A list of questions, a list with brief outlines, and granted sometimes additional creative examples, of current and past popular beliefs, but that is it. No answers. No guide to the good life and how to live it, as the description on the back promises. There are barely any recommendations, barely any hints at what the right direction might be. The authors seem to sit on the fence on every issue they discuss. Example, the question of gut feelings and intuition over reason and evaluation, the answer, a combination of both is necessary and important. In my opinion the book is a very long winded way of stating the obvious that anyone with enough interest in these issues to actually pick up and buy the book will most certainly already have considered.
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0 of 147 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars helping others, 22 Jun 2012
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since i have not finished the book im not prepared to comment fully, but i find the book difficult.can let you know more when i have book fully read.
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