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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 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.
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on 12 April 2017
Entertaining,thought-provoking,down to Earth read.not for new-age BS fans.
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on 5 July 2012
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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on 17 January 2013
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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on 17 December 2013
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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on 11 January 2014
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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on 13 December 2014
Real insight into the great and complex questions that we all share explained in a down to earth and drawing on the wisdom of thinkers over the millenia. I really enjoyed it.
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on 2 January 2013
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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on 3 August 2014
Book as describe - fast delivery
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on 31 December 2012
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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