The Consolations of Philosophy

Listen / Download

Philosophy – denoting a pure love of wisdom and truth-gets puts down in a practical world as the ivory-tower major of kids who expect to stay in college forever, or don’t want to work anyway.

As it’s said mischievously: philosophy teaches you to live without the job it prevents you from getting. Alain de Botton takes that as good news, if philosophy really does come through with comfort and consolation about life itself-as many great names in philosophy thought it should.

Like Epicurus, the Greek philosopher of pleasure, who wrote that “philosophy is useless if it does not drive away the suffering of the mind.” Call it feel-good philosophy, if you must, but Alain de Botton reads the masters for pain-relief: Socrates for the misery of unpopularity, Seneca in the frustrations of life, Montaigne when your body lets you down; Schopenhauer for heartbreak.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Alain de Botton