Breakfast With Socrates (Ebook)

The philosophy of everyday life

Robert Rowland Smith

A journey through an ordinary day in the company of some extraordinary ideas - the book of the 2008 Frankfurt Book Fair that's already destined to be an international bestseller

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...

Publication date: 06/08/2010



ISBN: 9781847652089


Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Philosophy & Ideas

Reviews for Breakfast With Socrates

'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 

Robert Rowland Smith

Robert Rowland Smith

Robert Rowland Smith began his career as a Prize Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He lectured internationally on philosophy, literature and psychoanalysis. He published the award-winning Derrida and Autobiography in 1995 and laid the ground for two later academic works. These are Death-Drive: Freudian Hauntings in Literature and Art and On Modern Poetry: From Theory to Total Criticism, which received a Choice award for 'outstanding academic book' of 2013.

In 1998 Robert left Oxford to go into management consultancy, first in Los Angeles and then in London, where he was a partner in a firm specialising in leadership and organisation development. It was during this period that Robert trained in Constellations.

With the 2009 publication of the bestselling Breakfast with Socrates, Robert began working on a portfolio basis that today involves: (1) writing books: Driving with Plato came out in 2011, and 2013 year saw the publication of Robert's book for business leaders, The Reality Test. He's now researching a project with the working title of The Architecture of Being. (2) advising businesses: alongside his work with leaders, Robert has set up Ennovation.Co to help organisations innovate by drawing on unconscious energy. (3) running New Constellations: Robert runs regular workshops for people facing challenges in their personal or professional life, or with creative projects.
(4) giving talks: Robert has spoken to audiences from Tokyo to El Salvador on subjects including love, enlightenment, the self and innovation.
(5)doing journalism: Robert has had a column in both the Evening Standard and the Sunday Times, and continues to write articles for newspapers and magazines.

Robert sits on the board of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, and the editorial board of Angelaki, the journal he helped to found. He is a founding faculty member of both The School of Life and the London Graduate School. He holds a top First in English and a D. Phil., both from Oxford University.

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