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Before the good life was reduced to a bottle of Prozac, it was philosophers who offered answers to the most fundamental questions about who we are and how to live well. In The Philosophical Life, James Miller returns to this vibrant tradition with short and spirited biographies of twelve famous thinkers, examining the interplay of their life and thought. From Plato, who risked his reputation to tutor a tyrant, to Kant, who wrestled with hypochondria while advocating arch-rationality in his writings, each thinker took their own unique approach to 'the good life', but often struggled to put their theories into practice. With a flair for rich anecdote, Miller provides a captivating insight into some of history's greatest thinkers - and confirms the continuing relevance of philosophy today.
James Miller is a professor of politics and the chair of liberal studies at the New School for Social Research. He is the author of The Passion of Michel Foucault and has written for the New York Times and appeared several times on BBC Radio 4.