Philosophy for Life: And other dangerous situations Paperback – 3 May 2012
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"Instructive and thought-provoking...shows philosophy is not just for stuffy classrooms" (Financial Times)
"This wonderful book shows how modern psychology is consistent with the best that was thought and known in the Ancient World...also beautifully written" (Lord Richard Layard, author, Happiness: Lessons From A New Science)
"A revelation" (Alexander Linklater Observer)
"Witty and accessible…Highly recommended." (The Psychologist magazine)
"A brilliant and timely book." (Tom Hodgkinson, author of How to Be Free)
A dynamic guide to philosophy for everyday life - using key ideas to live well and happilySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Evans says the aim is to convey "what it would be like to get a day-pass to the School of Athens". Rather than merely being dry and academic, this book constantly shows an awareness of how philosophy can be brought to bear on everyday situations. Evans has interviewed all manner of people (astronauts, soldiers, the politician Rory Stewart) and profiled plenty of others - such as a Chicago firefighter who gives classes in Stoic resilience - to see where philosophy fits (or can fit) into their lives.
The book is appealingly structured like a day's lessons or tutorials. The writing is fresh and thoughtful, pretty accessible, largely unpretentious and of a genuinely practical kind. This reminds me of Alain de Botton's Consolations of Philosophy, except that it has a much keener sense of philosophy's place and utility in the real world.
As a primer in Greek philosophy, the book works well, but is a good deal more than that - a wise, honest, original and helpful guide, which provides ample food for thought and has inspired me to do further reading (about which Evans provides a handy guide at the end of the book).
If you are keen on a pratical guide to the stoic portion I'd recommend William Irvine's A Gude To The Good Life: he is an academic so the writing is not as lucid as Jules, but there are more concrete, solid tips. Jules's book left me with a taster of everything, but if I were to make something of it, I'd have to research those areas of interest further.
One thing that did bother me was that the book made references, say to Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, but the reference at the back did not give the exact quoattion. So I know he quoted the book but can't look it up myself.
The writing style is clear and engaging it is a superbly structured look at many different areas of philosophy and one that routinely spans 2000BC to the present day. I particularly liked the way the author gave his own opinions of various things in a very mature and objective way but usually only at the end of each section once all the key points had been covered.
I've learned so much from this book about well known names such as Aristotle and Socrates, which before reading this were just names from some high brow and unreachable discipline called philosophy. The ideas put forward by all the people in this book are hugely stimulating and well presented here. It has totally broken down the barriers (in my mind) to the whole subject.
The only thing missing I think is a glossary of some of the terms used. There was a tendency at times to explain a concept then drop back into the jargon. I'm still in the dark as to what some of the colourful terms mean having never studied politics, economics or philosophy and not having a university background. Yes, I can (and did) Google them, but for a book intending to be accessible to anyone, I would have preferred this to explain it all, in the words of the author.
However there is - tongue in cheek - a dark side to this book!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is an excellent read and a excellent introduction to different philosophical theories. It also shows how each philosophical theory would be applied today to modern... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
The author used cbt to conquer anxiety. Cbt derives from ancient philosophy. This book allows us to touch base with philosophy an integral part of living the good life.Published 3 months ago by Den
What a book, couldn't put it down. So many of books I've read over the years has almost been sumarised in this publication. A recorded read for anyone who ask WHY?Published 3 months ago by Mrs S Birch
I loved this book. Very well written, it was engaging, entertaining and honest. Evans does a great job in introducing the reader into the world of philosophy using the school of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Udey
A quick and easy introduction to various philosophies. This book helped me to dip my toe into waters I had previously avoided.Published 6 months ago by Glyn Morris
Very interesting to read significant philosophical ideas in very contemporary language. Jules Evans is a great communicator, able to draw out the relevance of profound ideas and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Starwalker
Amazing and wide collection of work from different schools of philosophical thoughts. From Medieval to Modern Philosophy, I found it so helpful that I have decided to go further in... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
No book on philosophy aiming to condense years of deep philosophical education into 300 pages of a manifesto can possibly do justice to the task but Jules armed with journalistic... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sameer Merchant