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The odd couple brings wisdom and wit
on 16 July 2012
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.