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Publishers WeeklyIn this solid, mercifully accessible account of 20 ancient thinkers, U.K. author and journalist Vernon (What Not to Say) makes philosophy enlightening, engaging, and relevant by taking a fresh look at its roots: "Very many ordinary people-not just men, but women and slaves-dedicated themselves to such matters. Philosophy was about what you ate, how you had sex, where you lived. Get those choices right and think less squiffily too, and it promised the good life." As such, Vernon connects each of the 20 philosophers to a modern-day concern. Zeno of Citium, for example, helps readers consider the psychology of shopping by way of stoicism, while Aristippus and his more-is-more philosophy of hedonism make him the go-to guy for an approach to pleasure-seeking. Among the standard list of dead white males (beginning with Plato and ending with Socrates), Vernon also highlights three notable woman philosophers, Sappho, Diotima and Hypatia, with worthwhile thoughts on love, warfare and paying attention. B&W photos.
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