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The weaknesses of others are usually deeply entertaining (one need only look at the popularity of the Daily Mail and Heat) and 'Philosophers Behaving Badly' promises a couple of hours of indulging in elevated Schadenfreude. Rodgers and Thompson set out to illustrate the difficulties of consistently applying philosophical systems to life's realities. In their introduction they warn of the dangers that prey on those entering philosophy unwarily. "Those seeking in philosophy a guide for the perplexed should be aware that while philosophy can enlighten it can also mislead and delude," they write. They ought perhaps to have said: "Look on these works ye mighty and despair." For they show that even the philosophers (those models of virtue) who came up with these systems of thought were inconsistent in sustaining their principles after the descent from the rarefield air of abstract thought to the muddy complexities of daily life. The book comprises eight biographical essays, outlining the main philosophical ideas and eccentricities of the philosophers in question. Although these philosophers are no worse than the average human being, their faults, when juxtaposed with their ideas, seem far more severe. The thinkers selected are not the only philosophers who have behaved badly, madly or inconsistently, but they are in some ways the pick of the bunch: Schopenhauer was a misogynistic grump. Nietzche's syphilis drove him to madness. Russell was known as "Dirty Bertie", Wittgenstein liked destroying the careers of his students, Heidegger was a Nazi, Sartre a self-centred philanderer and Foucault a self-confessed sado-masochist. It is only when they are compared with their lofty idealism that one realises the extent to which these philosophers were frequently incapable of setting these ideas into practice. Jean Jaques Rousseau, for example, wrote 'Emile' as a novel of education and yet failed miserably to educate or take care of his many illegitimate children. He left them in foster homes, terrified that they might despise him. His attitude towards his children was only one of the many inconsistencies which were part of his life. As an advocate of civil liberties and republican ideals, despising the aristocracy, he was dependent on its patronage and adored being lionised in upper class salons. As one of the fathers of the Romantic Movement, he understandably preferred comfort and luxury to nature. The other philosophers fail on different accounts. Mietzsche was incapable of living life according to his ideas for reasons of physical failure rather than an intellectual inability to uphold his principles. His madness was perhaps the most tragic and entertaining: at one point in the advanced phase of syphilis, one of his friends found him dancing naked in his room, convinced he was Dionysus. The great irony of his syphilitic madness is the fact that he only ever went to a brothel once and claimed to have lived an almost virginal life. As his failure to be consistent was due to a medical problem rather than to a flaw of character he does not entirely fit into the pattern of the book. His madness stands more as a warning not to visit brothels than as a warning for the perils of applying philosophy to life. Perhaps inevitably, the book's central flaw lies in the simplicity of its conception. Geared towards those who have either little or no knowledge of philosophy, it falls between the cracks. On the one hand, it is too broad to be serious, and on the other it depends too much on a psycho-analytica style, constantly linking the philosophers' childhood traumas with their later behavioural lapses. There is too much psychology for this reader's taste - and too little scandal. That said, it gives a good general overview and there are interesting facts to be learned. --Anna Arco, Catholic HeraldReseña del editor:
An engaging and often hilarious survey of the far-from-fusty extra-curricular activities of some of philosophy s finest practitioners"Philosophers Behaving Badly" examines the lives of eight great philosophersRousseau, whose views on education and the social order seem curiously at odds with his own outrageous life; Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, two giants of the 19th century whose words seem ever more relevant today; and five immensely influential philosophers of the 20th century, Russell, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Sartre, and Foucault."
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Descripción Peter Owen Ltd, 2005. Paperback. Condición: Brand New. 240 pages. 8.50x5.50x1.00 inches. In Stock. Nº de ref. del artículo: zk0720612195
Descripción Peter Owen Ltd, 2005. Paperback. Condición: New. Nº de ref. del artículo: DADAX0720612195
Descripción Peter Owen Publishers, 2004. Paperback. Condición: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. del artículo: P110720612195