Alain de Botton

Discuss philosophical concepts and moral issues.
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ruby sparks
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Alain de Botton

Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:26 pm

I had never warmed to Alain de Botton. I tended to think of him as a sort of Daytime Television Philosopher, but then someone lent me a copy of 'The Course of Love' and to my surprise I was impressed.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Course-Love-Al ... 0241145473


At last, I almost thought to myself, a philosopher who at least tries to apply his acquired skills to the day-to-day issues confronting those of us shuffling along the mortal coil. And I wondered, is this the way forward? Could this approach be a lifeline for an admirable and arduous but floundering human endeavour that has, in theory, so much to offer, but which so often retreats to an ivory tower of popular irrelevance, or hangs on to the coat-tails of other now-specialised disciplines, hoping for a return to the good old days?
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Roo St. Gallus
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:15 am

Stumbled across this author recently. After finding out a bit more, I wondered that his work had not already been thrust upon me.

I shall follow.
IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:35 am

I thought it (the book) was a sort of curate's egg, good in parts. The good parts made up for the rest, imo. When he was opining (usually in italics, to let us know which were the 'philosophical' bits) on 'what love is', I think he was doomed to partial failure, given that I don't think such a term can be defined completely so that it applies to all of us, but he did hit the mark fairly regularly, imo, with some good insights about the human condition when it comes to relationships. It's arguably not 'really' philosophy at all, more of a case of a philosopher getting into psychology, or, if we were to be disparaging, the 'self-help' genre.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Roo St. Gallus
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:36 pm

Rather in the same vein as, say, Rumi, or Khalil Gibran?
IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:37 pm

I'm not familiar with them so I can't say. But I don't think so.

The book is a fictional story about a man and a woman who meet, fall in love, marry, have kids.....etc etc...interspersed with the author's thoughts about such things in the general sense. I've been through those things myself (including some of the etc etc's) so maybe it just chimed for me the way stuff sometimes does during the later stages of a midlife crisis. :)

If it's even fair to call it philosophy (which I think it broadly is) it's of the 'how to try to live' (happily) variety, somewhat akin to certain approaches of various stoics who (so I read) thought of philosophy "not as an interesting pastime or even a particular body of knowledge, but as a way of life".

As such, it ends up being about psychology as much as anything else (and in particular the work of John Bowlby on attachment, which I remember reading a long time ago during one of my several pre-midlife crises).
Last edited by ruby sparks on Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:11 pm

There's been a number of previous discussions centering on de Botton.

TED: Atheism 2.0 - Alain de Botton.

A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion By Alain de Botton

I haven't read or seen anything by him that has really impressed me.

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