Who are we? How should we live? Professor James Miller introduces twelve great philosophers who dedicated their lives to answering these questions. From Plato, who risked his reputation to tutor a tyrant, to Seneca, the philosopher of temperance who accumulated one of the greatest fortunes in Rome, to Kant, who privately wrestled with hypochondria while publicly advocating arch-rationality, each had a unique approach to examining life. Here is a fascinating insight into the ideals that have guided us for centuries, and those who have fought passionately to live up to them.
`A vivid set of philosophical tales...a fresh treatment of subjects who are often served up stale.' * The Economist * `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 * `Fascinating...readers will be astounded to learn that philosophers make as much of a mess of their lives as anyone else.' * New York Times * `Admirable...his book gains a novelistic richness.' * Guardian * `An engaging wealth of personal detail woven into each philosopher's quest for wisdom... Refreshing...an ideal book to dip into before another night of sleepless worry.' * Prospect * `Crisply written and insightful.' * Sunday Telegraph * `Endlessly rich... An earnest, wistful collection of biographical sketches of a dozen preeminent "lovers of wisdom".' * Wall Street Journal * `Miller's accessible history is entertaining and informative.' * Sunday Herald * `Excellent.' * Alain de Botton, 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.' * Good Book Guide *
James Miller is professor of politics and liberal studies, and faculty director of the MA in creative publishing and critical journalism at the New School for Social Research. He lives in New York.