Alain de Botton

Acclaimed philosopher, Alain de Botton offers a kinder, gentler philosophy of success, giving us a great lesson on how to relate to ourselves, and how to relax counter-productive emotions. The way he organises his thoughts, and combines philosophy with pragmatism, is truly engaging. His goal is (through any of his mediums) to help clients learn "how to live wisely and well".

Alain helped found the School of Life in London, a social enterprise determined to make learning and therapy relevant in today's uptight culture. It started in 1997, when Alain turned away from writing novels and instead wrote a touching extended essay titled 'How Proust Can Change Your Life', which became an unlikely blockbuster in the "self-help" category. He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers, informed by his deep reading in philosophy and by a novelist's eye for small, perfect moments. He is a frequent contributor to numerous newspapers, journals and magazines and is a member of the Arts Council of England's literature panel.

Alain de Botton has just written 'The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work' which is an exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace, beautifully evoking what other people get up to all day - and night - to make the frenzied contemporary world function. One of the most well-known philosophers in Europe, he masterfully provides the perfect guide to the anxieties and enticing hopes thrown up by our journey through the working world.

With a philosophical eye and his characteristic combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton's humorous, articulate and eye opening talks are given with an elegance philosophers might envy. He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work and skilfully raises the big questions we all tend to ask of our work.

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