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The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death and Happiness by [Rowlands, Mark]
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The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death and Happiness Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Length: 258 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'This year's most original and instructive work of popular philosophy ... a remarkable portrait of the bond that can exist between a human being and a beast ... [Rowlands is ] a rare contemporary philosopher who is able to learn from everything he experiences in life, not just books and academic journals. That is what makes The Philosopher and the Wolf so refreshing' Financial Times 'An extraordinary memoir' Daily Mail 'A powerfully subversive critique of the unexamined assumption that shape the way most philosophers - along with most people - think about animals and themselves' Literary Review 'Rowland's memoir is life-affirming, engrossing, thoughtful and moving ... The Philosopher and the Wolf could become a philosophical cult classic' TLS 'Nothing short of human existence, survival and our relationship to all other creatures is examined here and it's all written in a beautifully elegiac way. The heart-strings will be pulled and the mind stimulated' --City AM

Review

'An extraordinary memoir'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 531 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1605981338
  • Publisher: Granta Books (1 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0040JHZDW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,124 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I put this book on my Christmas list having read a couple of extracts in newspaper supplements; I'm very glad that I did.

The strange thing is that, because it felt like I'd read so much of the book in the published extracts, I felt I knew exactly what I was getting: a moving account of a man's experience living with a wolf. I nearly typed "owning" but, if you read the book, you will appreciate how inappropriate that term would be.

However, I was a long way off the mark in my expectations. Yes, the moving and funny accounts of life with an essentially wild animal were still there, there's definitely a wolf, but there's also the philosopher.

The author turns his expert mind on the experience of sharing 11 years of his life with Brenin to a wonderfully though-provoking extent. I found myself wanting to read the book to experience the journey of life with the wolf, but also wanting to check my progress to contemplate the issues on life and people raised.

It turns out living with a wolf shines a significant light on how we are as people. That Rowland's ultimate analysis of homo sapiens is somewhat unflattering (that our intelligence is driven by our need to understand our peers so that we can deceive them more and use them for our own purposes) doesn't make it wrong.

The book is both enlightening and uplifting and I recommend it whole-heartedly.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book as a dog lover, being fascinated by the relationship between man and animals, and found this a truly delightful, inspiring, moving and most of all thoughtful read. I couldn't put this book down and suprisingly found it a more enjoyable read than most of the other, lighter, books I have bought this year. Buy it and prepare to reflect more deeply on the important questions in life, and what makes us who we are.
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Format: Paperback
This is an IMPORTANT book. It is principally a philosophical work that breaks the mould of much of the trend of Western thought while addressing the historical reasonings that have brought us to our present beliefs. Like Peter Singer, the author is led to a clear defence of animal rights, but for a completely different reason. He presents a compelling case for a duty of consideration towards other sentient beings, explained in parallel to, and as a result of, his experience of living with a wolf. This is a moving, interesting and inspiring tale of friendship. Mark Rowlands, in his dealings with Brenin, the wolf in question - who is recognised by his "owner" as having a personality and rights -, does something so very many dog owners omit to do: he gives him company, instinctively understanding that the animal is not psychologically equipped for solitude. This in turn allows the author to get to know the wolf, understand him and grow to love him. This is ultimately a passionate love story and an attempt to explain what is important in life. A remarkable lesson from the philosopher and the wolf.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting book to read and enjoyable.

Having lived more than a decade in Zimbabwe, England and France respectively I feel qualified to add that the ape mind is not the only one. Clearly anglo saxon (or northern?) - the mediterranean (or southern?) modification might be something for nothing rather than all you can get; and the African mind is altogether more generous. Much of my life has been a long hard fight on all fronts and I realise my thinking reflects that in a tendency to cover all options asap and give no quarter: particularly in comparison with friends whose thinking is very graceful and supple and or peacable: there are apparently various 'minds' and 'brains' and ways of developing a considered/cultured/open/lucid/kind mind?

(This is a lovely quote - about David Bowie - something to aim towards?
In a statement released last week, Mr Renck said: 'One could only dream about collaborating with a mind like that; let alone twice. Intuitive, playful, mysterious and profound.
'I have no desire to do any more videos knowing the process never ever gets as formidable and fulfilling as this was. I've basically touched the sun.'
Or he could bring this experience to everything he does?)

Add in Jung and integration and you aren't stuck with what you have got and have an anima animus for extra info and leverage. Ages since I read Camus but I remember he ended feeling that wemust imagine that Sisyphus is happy?, and feel sure that with a child in the house, this kind of intrinsic value to day to day life and its vicissitudes is evident.
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Format: Paperback
This is an incredible book, extremely moving, contains a lot of philosophying but is never boring. The author cleverly mixes philosophy with narrative creating a remarkable book. I imagine animal lovers will get the most out of this book but I urge everyone to read it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating. I have read this book 5 times now, because the ideas developed are sometimes very deep. To those who care understanding them, that is. Marc Rowlands has given words to thoughts that I have had throughout my life. I have felt myself "tuning out of human kind" because I value more the silent loyalty of the pack than the "incessant chattering and scheming of the ape". I completely agree with Marc that "a dog is your friend; a human can only really be you ally". I agree that humans tell a lot of stories (bulls***) to themselves to justify their sometimes ominous actions and the root of those stories is to be found in the need to give a moral base to those actions. Never mind the superficial and dishonest criticisms I have read about this book: read it. Several times, as some concepts are not trivial (especially the philosophical ones). True, this is not a training guide for those who want a wolf. But then the title gave that away. It is obvious that the critics of the book in these reviews have not read it as they fall in the same type of philosophical fallacies that are denounced by Marc. It does not really matter though. Those who want to understand the basis of the special relation between wolves (and dogs) and humans should read this book, as I think it explains those reasons very well. The others, well, they are free not to read it.
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