David Mytton

Book Review (4/5) – The Consolations of Philosophy (Alain de Botton)

Published (updated: ) in Book Reviews.

Originally published on Goodreads.

I like to use philosophy in a practical way, as a way of thinking about the world, problems and events. The problem is that it’s often written in such a way as to make that more difficult. This is sometimes because of the age and style of the past, but sometimes it’s deliberately inaccessible. 

De Botton does a good job at simplifying and explaining key philosophical works in the context of modern challenges: frustration, lack of money, heartbreak. He shows how to think about these topics in new ways, using well known philosophers and their own backstory.

Along with Story of Philosophy, this is a good introduction to philosophy and why it matters. You won’t enjoy it all. It won’t all be helpful. But it may be the first stop on the route to reading (and properly understanding) the originals.