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This review is from: Philosophy for Life: And other dangerous situations (Paperback)
For all the reviews and blurbs telling you what an inspirational, life altering book this is, I must add a note of dissent: it actually makes it quite apparent that none of the philosophers (at least the ancient Greek ones who are the focus of this book) have anything useful to tell the vast majority of us about how to live our lives. It turns out that in the modern world, many of the schools of thought sampled by Evans have translated into quackery, cults, new age groupthink, anti-globalisation activism and even schools where pupils were physically abused.
The book is very fluent, readable and amusing, but Evans is strangely muted in his criticism, and tends to say that a certain strand of philosophy doesn't appeal to him, without savaging its purported modern adherents. I came away from it rather relieved that there are not more people trying to steer a course through life using ancient Greek thinking as a guide.
However, I really did enjoy the rapid ride through different schools of philosophy and, while I suspect this kind of 'pop wisdom' has left out vast amounts of what the ancients actually said, it was a darn sight easier zimmimg through this book than I imagine it would be to get your head around the original texts.
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Initial post: 10 Jul 2013 12:42:21 BDT
Try reading the Discourses by Epictetus. Epictetus' perhaps better-known Enchiridion is, for me, rather too bite-sized as is the very repetitive Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, so stick with the Discourses. You will find that very easy to follow. Then perhaps the Stoic writings of Seneca and Cicero?
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