Cover image for Philosophy for life and other dangerous situations : ancient philosophy for modern problems
Philosophy for life and other dangerous situations : ancient philosophy for modern problems
Evans, Jules.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Novato, California : New World Library, 2013.
Physical Description:
xiii, 301 pages : illustration ; 22 cm
"An exploration of modern applications of twelve ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Epictetus, Heraclitus, Diogenes, and Skeptics and Stoics. Examples include the founders of cognitive behavioral therapy and the director of a resilience program for the U.S. Army. Offers lessons in happiness, fortitude, and fulfillment"--
General Note:
Originally published: London : Rider Books, 2012.
Morning roll call: Socrates and the art of street philosophy -- Epictetus and the art of maintaining control -- Musonius Rufus and the art of fieldwork -- Seneca and the art of managing expectations -- Lunchtime lesson: Epicurus and the art of savoring the moment -- Heraclitus and the art of cosmic contemplation -- Pythagoras and the art of memorization and incantation -- Skeptics and the art of cultivating doubt -- Diogenes and the art of anarchy -- Plato and the art of justice -- Plutarch and the art of heroism -- Aristotle and the art of flourishing -- Graduation: Socrates and the art of departure -- Is Socrates overoptimistic about human reason? -- Socratic tradition and non-Western philosophcal traditions -- Socrates and Dionysus.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
B111 .E93 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



When philosophy rescued him from an emotional crisis, Jules Evans became fascinated by how ideas invented over two thousand years ago can help us today. He interviewed soldiers, psychologists, gangsters, astronauts, and anarchists and discovered the ways that people are using philosophy now to build better lives. Ancient philosophy has inspired modern communities -- Socratic cafés, Stoic armies, Epicurean communes -- and even whole nations in the quest for the good life.

This book is an invitation to a dream school with a rowdy faculty that includes twelve of the greatest philosophers from the ancient world, sharing their lessons on happiness, resilience, and much more. Lively and inspiring, this is philosophy for the street, for the workplace, for the battlefield, for love, for life.

Author Notes

Jules Evans writes for publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London , gives popular talks on practical philosophy, and runs the Well-Being Project at Queen Mary, University of London. He lives in London.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In the autobiographical portions of this book, Evans (policy dir., Ctr. for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, Univ. of London) describes the role that ancient philosophy played in helping to make sense of his life. Evans's primary goal is to show how the influence of Greek philosophers (e.g., Socrates, Plato, and Epictetus) is applicable to our daily lives even today. This goal is somewhat hampered by two aspects of the work: the author's reflections on his own experience feel overly personal and often inconsequential, and the work is diluted by his wit, impeding the philosophy being discussed. This volume is divided into five sections, with the first four covering the Stoics, the Epicureans, skepticism, and politics. The final section, labeled "Extracurricular Appendices," focuses on Evans's take on the Socratic tradition. VERDICT The idea that ancient philosophy is applicable to our lives today is a powerful one, but too much of this work is about Evans and his experiences with philosophy, and too little of it is a genuine introduction to street philosophy or philosophy for the common man.-William Simkulet, Andover, KS (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface: Welcome to the School of Athensp. xi
1 Morning Roll Call: Socrates and the Art of Street Philosophyp. 1
Morning Session: The Warriors of Virtue
2 Epictetus and the Art of Maintaining Controlp. 25
3 Musonius Rufus and the Art of Fieldworkp. 39
4 Seneca and the Art of Managing Expectationsp. 57
Lunch: Philosophy Buffet
5 Lunchtime Lesson: Epicurus and the Art of Savoring the Momentp. 77
Early-Afternoon Session: Mystics and Skeptics
6 Heraclitus and the Art of Cosmic Contemplationp. 99
7 Pythagoras and the Art of Memorization and Incantationp. 115
8 Skeptics and the Art of Cultivating Doubtp. 129
Late-Afternoon Session: Politics
9 Diogenes and the Art of Anarchyp. 149
10 Plato and the Art of Justicep. 169
11 Plutarch and the Art of Heroismp. 187
12 Aristotle and the Art of Flourishingp. 201
Graduation: Socrates and the Art of Departurep. 221
Extracurricular Appendices
Appendix 1 Is Socrates Overoptimistic about Human Reason?p. 237
Appendix 2 The Socratic Tradition and Non-Western Philosophical Traditionsp. 241
Appendix 3 Socrates and Dionysusp. 247
Notesp. 251
Further Readingp. 269
Acknowledgmentsp. 281
Indexp. 285
About the Authorp. 301