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Philosophy encompass so much and so many complex thoughts and ideas it is often hard to Extremely irritating, like being trapped with a first year philosophy student free-associating half digested philosophical truths at you. For a whole day. Robert spent the first part of his career as a Prize Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and the second as a partner in a leading firm of management consultants.

Robert now divides his time between consulting, writing, and giving talks about the philosophy of life. If your order doesn't arrive, is faulty, damaged or vastly different to what was described, you can seek assistance from their expert dispute resolution team to claim a refund. We've detected your location. Delivery set to: Finland. Breakfast With Socrates: The philosophy of everyday life. View full description. Enter your email address below and we'll notify you as soon as it's back in stock.


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Your email address has been submitted - we'll be in touch. From getting ready in the morning, through heading to work, going to a party, having sex and falling back to sleep, this book provides a commentary on what history's greatest philosophers have said about the meaning behind everything we do.

The philosophy of everyday life

Until that point, everybody believed the earth lay at the center of the universe, and everybody was wrong. And although waking up relieves you of a large degree of doubt Descartes , it immediately replaces it with the task of proving that what you feel first thing in the morning has any substance at all Kant.


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For apart from anything else, the act of waking up is a playing out in miniature of the relationship between life and death, where going to sleep is like dying and waking up is like being born or born again. On both counts, Christianity has a special relevance.

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Christianity, to put it baldly, is a religion of waking up. It is the conviction that, for all the mystery shrouding it, death is literally only a sleep, and that you will, if you play your cards right, wake up again afterward in paradise. The painting depicts the folk of an English village getting out of their graves, in their night-clothes, stretching and yawning, as though they have simply woken up in bed.

The painting does what Christianity does: it treats death as an unthreatening interlude, no more scary than turning in for the night. He takes the Christian idea that sleep and death are equivalent and throws it back at Christianity. Going to sleep is risky, he implies, because, rather than waking into the afterlife, you may well never wake up again. In the late s, when Shakespeare was writing, average life expectancy was about thirty and the infant mortality rate was spectacularly higher than today.

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Small wonder, then, that when you awake, even in the twenty-first century, and slip the embrace of this shadowy stranger called sleep, you might still feel, beneath the magical surprise, a modicum of relief and even gratitude. The fact that we have been asleep and unconscious means waking up involves the disquieting sense of its being out of our control: it happens to us rather than us making it happen. So this moment of rescue that is the coming back into consciousness is easily attributed to divine intervention, as if an angel had snatched you back from the underworld.

In any case, from its earliest beginnings, Christianity has harbored an occult strain that draws the link from the resurrection of Christ to the waking up of the earth in spring. Rather, religion incorporated magic, assimilated or ingested it, drawing particular strength from its elemental focus on reawakening.

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All of which makes, of course, for a heady mix: the world groaning into wakefulness, the ice splitting, the tubers stirring, and the whole cosmic rhythm incorporated into a scene of priests solemnifying the return of the light of the world. And yet in our own small way, from our beds, we too reprise this supernatural motion of the natural year on a daily basis simply by waking up. The associations get only richer and more intense when you realize that the very concept of truth—the cornerstone of philosophy and religion alike, let alone the law—also rests heavily on the meaning of waking up.


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  • But see how the Greek word is a-letheia rather than letheia; that is, truth is the opposite of lethargy. And what is the opposite of lethargy, if not waking up? The truth lies in being awake and throwing off the sheets.

    The point is easy to miss, however. How does that work? Turning to a third philosopher, G. Hegel, will shed some light. Convert currency.