Cover image for Plato, not prozac! : applying philosophy to everyday problems
Plato, not prozac! : applying philosophy to everyday problems
Marinoff, Lou.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 308 pages ; 22 cm
Added Author:
Format :


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BJ1595.5 .M37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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There was a time when philosophy meant something to ordinary people and philosophers' ideas were put to good use. Socrates spent his days debating vital issues in the marketplace, and Lao Tzu applied his own advice on following the subtle path to personal happiness and social harmony. Now, as a new millennium dawns, a unique movement called Philosophical Counseling has emerged to return philosophy to its classical roots by combining wisdom and practice to help people solve their most common everyday problems. Call it therapy for the sane. As the leading proponent of this field, philosopher Lou Marinoff, Ph.D., shows us that the road to a successful, fulfilling life begins with a simple choice: Plato, Not Procac!

When people come to see Dr. Marinoff they do not get endless discussions about their childhoods, quick prescriptions for antidepressants, or tedious analyses of their behavior patterns. Instead they learn how the ideas of the world's greatest thinkers can shed light on the way they live, from Kierkegaard's thoughts on coping with death and Kant's theory of obligation to the I Ching's guidelines on adapting to change and Aristotle's advice to pursue reason and moderation. Dr. Marinoff brings philosophy out of the ivory tower and directly into our lives and the dilemmas we all face. including handling love relationships. living ethically, dealing with career changes, being a good parent, coping with loss, and finding meaning and purpose.

Plato, Not Prozac! explains how insights from diverse wisdom traditions can be used to help you help yourself to a better life. The issue is not just how you live, but how well you live. With the right philosophy at the right time, you can enhance or regain that wellness. The book is filled with case studies drawn from the experiences of leading philosophical counselors that demonstrate the effectiveness of philosophy in helping people feel better, think better, and live better. Dr. Marinoffs signature five-step PEACE process shows you how to: identify your problem (P), express your emotions constructively (H). analyze your options (A), contemplate a philosophy that helps you choose and live with your best option (C), and renew your personal equilibrium (E).

A wonderful resource tool, Plato, Not Prozac! also offers an extensive list of philosophical practitioners and organizations as well as a detailed hit parade featuring sixty of the more important and influential philosophers. Dr. Marinoff also gives you a glimpse of the rapid growth of this movement in describing philosophers' caf#65533;s. the coporate philosopher, and other ways in which philosophy--the world's second-oldest profession--is making a global comeback and influencing people everywhere. Intelligent, accessible, and utterly persuasive, Plato, Not Prozac! is a groundbreaking alternative to traditional therapies and an indispensable guide to living a healthy, rewarding life. It's available over the counter; no prescription necessary.

"Everyone has a philosophy of life, but few of us have the privilege or leisure to sit around and puzzle out the fine points. We tend to make it up as we go along. Experience is a great teacher, but we also need to reason about our experiences. We need to think critically, looking for patterns and putting everything together into the big picture to make our way through life. Understanding our own philosophy can help prevent, resolve, or manage many problems. Our philosophies can also underlie the problems we experience, so we must evaluate the ideas we hold to craft an outlook that works for us, not against us. You can change what you believe in order to work out a problem, and this book will show you how."
-- from Plato, Not Prozac!

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

If one is to believe this New Age self-help book, the answers to most of life's problems can be found by applying lessons learned from the classic philosophers. Marinoff advocates "philosophical counseling" as an improvement over what he considers the psychiatric industry's tendency to medicate their patients for any mental malady, major or minor. By following his "PEACE" process (problem, emotion, analysis, contemplation, and equilibrium), we can deal rationally with matters of the heart, business, family discourse, even face our mortality. Each chapter is sprinkled with aphorisms from such revered philosophers as Sartre, Lao Tzu, Machiavelli, and, of course, Plato. The book includes a primer on some of history's most critical thinkers as well as a directory of organizations and practitioners of philosophical counseling. Would the world be better off if we took the time to analyze our problems as thoughtfully as Marinoff suggests? No doubt. Whether readers accept his theories is the bigger question. --Ron Kaplan

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Part I New Uses for Ancient Wisdom
1 What Went Wrong With Philosophy--and What's Going Right With It Latelyp. 3
2 Therapy, Therapy Everywhere, and Not a Thought to Thinkp. 16
3 PEACE in Your Time: Five Steps to Managing Problems Philosophicallyp. 37
4 What You Missed in Philosophy 101 That Can Help You Nowp. 52
Part II Managing Everyday Problems
5 Seeking a Relationshipp. 83
6 Maintaining a Relationshipp. 95
7 Ending a Relationshipp. 114
8 Family Life and Strifep. 131
9 When Work Doesn't Workp. 147
10 Midlife Without Crisisp. 167
11 Why Be Moral or Ethical?p. 180
12 Finding Meaning and Purposep. 208
13 Gaining from Lossp. 234
Part III Beyond Client Counseling
14 Practicing Philosophy with Groups and Organizationsp. 257
Part IV Additional Resources
Appendix A Hit Parade of Philosophersp. 275
Appendix B Organizations for Philosophical Practicep. 289
Appendix C Directory of Philosophical Practitionersp. 292
Appendix D Further Readingp. 299
Appendix E Consulting the I Chingp. 301
Indexp. 305