A journey through an ordinary day in the company of some extraordinary ideas.
What does it mean to be awake? What exactly is therapeutic about retail therapy? And what are you really working on when you're at your desk, in the gym, or having dinner? From getting ready in the morning, through heading to work, going to a party, having sex and falling back to sleep, Breakfast with Socrates provides an hour-by-hour commentary on what history's greatest philosophers have said about the meaning behind everything we do.
A fascinating exploration of our daily lives, Breakfast with Socrates also draws on literature, art, politics and psychology to offer an informal introduction to the history of ideas that will help anyone to think more healthily. Breakfast will never be the same again...
About the Author
Robert Rowland Smith was for seven years a Prize Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where his work on philosophy, literature and psychoanalysis was described by Jacques Derrida as 'superbe'. He now advises blue-chip companies and government departments, teaches at London's School of Life, and writes, among other things, a column on 'life lessons' in the Evening Standard and a regular column in the Sunday Times. He contributes to the Philosophy Bites podcast series and speaks regularly on BBC radio. His first book, Breakfast with Socrates has been translated into sixteen languages.
Philosophy made accessible and applied to the quotidian...manages to be funny without underestimating the reader. * Financial Times *
Smith's book is structured around a day, interrogating activities such as waking up, commuting, going to the doctor, watching TV, or partying. * The Guardian *
it's hard not to recommend someone who provides you with an argument for not going to the gym, for promoting the power of using the TV remote control and letting your parents pay for lunch! -- Sue Magee * Bookbag *
The ancient philosophers - and the author - bring meaning to your day...What has philosophy to do with work? What could Kant's transcendentalism, Hegel's dialectic or even Marx's materialism have to say about the daily grind? Well, this book demonstrates that the wisdom of the sages reveals much. * Management Today *
Smith has written a remarkable book, which goes through the seemingly mundane events of a day - waking up, having a bath, commuting, reading a book, and so on - and explores them with a philosophical eye to see what insights might be gleaned...joyously wise. * Church Times *
Breakfast with Socrates takes us on an extraordinary philosophical tour of an ordinary day as we wake up with Descartes' awareness of our own consciousness, go off to work with Weber's self-denial, play hooky with John Stuart Mill's passion for individual liberty, and end the day in a nice, warm bath with the Buddha's heightened consciousness of the moment. Who said philosophers aren't practical? -- Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein, authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar and Heidegger and a Hippo Walk through Those Pearly Gates