Ever want to have a bagel with Hegel? Eggs with Bacon? Or spend a day with Socrates, Mill, Herodotus, or Kant, able to pick their brains about the most mundane moments of your life? Former Oxford Philosophy Fellow Robert Rowland Smith thought he would, and so with dry wit and marvelous invention, Smith whisks you through a typical day, injecting a little philosophy into it at every turn. Wake up with Descartes, go to work with Plato and Nietzsche, visit the gym with Kant, have sex with Ovid (or Simone de Beauvoir).
As the day unfolds, Smith grounds complex, abstract ideas in concrete experience, giving you an informal introduction to applying philosophy to everyday life. Not only does Breakfast with Socrates cover the basic arguments of philosophy, it brings an irresistible, insouciant charm to its big questions, waking us up to the richest possible range of ideas on how to live. Neither breakfast, lunch, nor dinner will ever be the same again.
Modeled on the pop philosopher Alain de Botton's trademark blend of everyday observation and intellectual sophistication, this lively jaunt through the course of a day treats readers to such disquisitions as Thomas Hobbes on rush-hour traffic, Jacques Lacan on shopping, and Friedrich Nietzsche on work. Journalist Rowland Smith does a fair job of concisely explaining big ideas, and he offers a surprisingly colorful cast of thinkers from Carl Schmitt to Michel Foucault. He's at his best teasing out the little idiosyncrasies of modern experience, where simply washing your face in the morning betrays a remarkable optimism for the day ahead and fighting with your partner once in a while might actually be a good idea. While occasionally skirting into shallow discussions of some philosophers, the author maintains the central conceit of describing a typical day with admirable resourcefulness. This charming book wears its erudition with ease and suggests that despite what Socrates says, it is in fact the unexamined day that is not worth living.