The Philosophical Life: Twelve Great Thinkers and the Search for Wisdom, from Socrates to Nietzsche

The Philosophical Life: Twelve Great Thinkers and the Search for Wisdom, from Socrates to Nietzsche


By (author) James Miller

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  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 216mm x 221mm x 135mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1851688595
  • ISBN 13: 9781851688593
  • Sales rank: 126,723

Product description

Before the good life was reduced to ten easy steps, philosophers offered arresting answers to the most fundamental questions about who we are and what makes for a life worth living. In Examined Lives, James Miller returns to this vibrant tradition with short, lively biographies of twelve famous philosophers. From Plato, who risked his reputation to tutor a tyrant, to Nietzsche who tried to get to grips with the human condition before lapsing into catatonic madness, Miller lays out the lives of our greatest thinkers with flair and rich anecdotes. Confirming the continuing need for philosophy today, this book explores the most urgent questions about what it means to live a good life.

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Author information

James Miller is a professor of politics and the chair of liberal studies at the New School for Social Research. He is the author of The Passion of Michel Foucault and has written for the New York Times and appeared several times on BBC Radio 4.

Review quote

Admirable...his book gains a novelistic richness. The Guardian "An engaging wealth of personal detail woven into each philosopher's quest for wisdom ... Refreshing ideal book to dip into before another night of sleepless worry." Prospect "A vivid set of philosophical tales ... a fresh treatment of subjects who are often served up stale." The Economist Endlessly rich ... An earnest, wistful collection of biographical sketches of a dozen preeminent 'lovers of wisdom' The Wall Street Journal A set of beautifully written and richly informative mini-biographies of a dozen philosophers... Each of them is a little gem in its own right. A.C. Grayling Engaging... an ideal book to dip into. Prospect Excellent... [James Miller] is to be commended for leaving behind the sterile practices of his colleagues and speaking to civilian readers. Alain de Botton, for the New Statesman Pitch-perfect ... Miller's prose is insightful, anecdotal, warm, and nuanced. irish times Relevant, interesting, and accessible... Miller's deep knowledge of his subject is matched by a passion to share what he knows with others. Scotsman 'Beautifully written, full of anecdotes and interesting historical facts, this is an inspiring read.' The Good Book Guide