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Der Mönch Und Der Philosoph
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Der Mönch Und Der Philosoph

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  738 ratings  ·  59 reviews
The Monk and the Philosopher is a collection of father-son dialogues between Jean-François Revel, a French philosopher and journalist famous for his leadership in protests of both Christianity and Communism, and Matthieu Ricard, his son, who gave up a promising career as a scientist to become a Buddhist monk in the Himalayas. The conversations recorded in this book took pl ...more
Published (first published 1997)
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The concept is promising: a Buddhist monk justifies why he left a promising scientific career in France to become a monk in Tibet to his well-connected father, all under the guise of an intellectual discussion on religion and rational secularism. And both men are extremely well-educated, bright and articulate. My heart just wasn't in it. Try as I might, I just couldn't get past the father's irritating, narrow-minded elitism. The son offers wonderfully clear explanations of Buddhist tenets, but I ...more
Eugénio Lojo
O monge, Matthieu Ricard, brilha desde a primeira página. O filósofo, Jean-François Revel, sabe fazer as perguntas certas para que o resultado final seja uma visão bastante funda do budismo em geral, e da tradição tibetana em concreto.

Acho que o livro consegue mostrar à perfeição os pontos comuns entre a filosofia, como conhecimento mais teórico, e o budismo, como conhecimento baseado na prática contemplativa, que serve de base a todos os seus conhecimentos. É curioso ver, nesse sentido, como o
Para mi gusto, se acerca (peligrosamente) al libro ideal. Ideas que disparan ideas más reaccionarias, filosofía, las todopoderosas ciencias duras, el entrecruzamiento del pensamiento occidental y oriental y lo que genera y degenera en ese desmadre. El diálogo entre padre e hijo, entre un filósofo y un científico y posterior monje budista, el ateísmo de uno y el desapego del otro, el constructor de ideas y el desarmador, el brillante intelectual y la sabiduría antiquísima del otro, la ignorancia ...more
"If man is no more than his neurons, it's hard to understand how sudden events or deep reflection and the discovery of inner truths could lead us to completely change the way we see the world, how we live and our capacity for inner joy. Any such major upheaval would have to be accompanied by an equally deep and sudden major restructuring of the complex circuits of neurons that determine our habits and behavior. If, on the other hand, consciousness is a nonmaterial continuum, there's no reason wh ...more
Joshua Berg
I read this after loving Matthieu Ricard's book, Happiness. Ricard is a genius biologist turned Buddhist Monk and his father is the brilliant French philosopher, Jean-Francois Revel. This book is a conversation between the two! What could be more interesting? Unlike other "free-thinker vs. religious person" books where I have always taken the side of the free-thinker, I was on the side of both parties here so it was that much more enjoyable. I consider myself a spiritual free-thinking atheist. B ...more
Jon Boorstin
This is a fine investigation of Buddhist philosophy by an eminent French humanist and his son, a Buddhist monk with a phd in biology. They know what a proof is. Beautifully balanced and fair minded, with an ear for the resonances between different schools of thought. Should we strive for personal success, or is that striving a snare and a delusion? What is success, truly? And how to be truly fulfilled? These two men love each other and respect each other's views. Honest and illuminating.
A very interesting dialogue.

I could feel my sympathies alternate between the monk and the philosopher. Jean-Francois' erudition comes through, and as I already agree with what I think his views on religion and ideology are, I could empathise with his stance. On the other hand, my personal experience of the effectiveness of meditation at self-transformation allowed me to understand more deeply what Mattheiu said. I felt that he was somewhat more defensive of Buddhism than Jean-Francois of Western
Gautham Shenoy
This wonderful book is a dialogue between a philosopher father and a buddhist son about the ideas from the eastern and western traditions that concern themselves with the meaning of life. Jean-Francois Revel appears to be well versed with not only the works of the contemporary modern philosophers but also of the ancient greeks and the roman schools of thought. And he uses his knowledge to probe into the metaphysics, ethics, and practice of buddhism. The son, Matthieu Ricard was groomed to become ...more
Leland Beaumont
The relationship between father and son is always complex. Fathers want the best for their sons, and sons balance a natural tension of wanting to learn from father, and live up to his father’s expectations, while exploring all that is new and exciting in the world. It is a respectful yet powerful tension between old and new, experience and novelty, obedience and autonomy, belief and curiosity, advice and adventure. This tension is richly realized throughout the remarkable dialogue created by the ...more
“The Monk and the Philosopher” is a fascinating dialogue between a French agnostic philosopher, Jean-Francois Revel, and his son, Matthieu Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk with a doctorate in molecular biology. The purpose of the dialogue, as the subtitle to the book explains, was to discuss “the meaning of life,” though much of the first part of the book focuses on the son explaining Buddhism and the meaning of life from a Buddhist perspective to his father. Topics that receive extensive emphasi ...more
A father, both a philosopher and atheist, discusses with his son, a ph. D. in microbiology turned into Buddhist monk, about the meeting and diverging points between Western philosophy, science and religion and Buddhism.

And so the book unfolds as a fascinating conversation that explores both Western and Eastern wisdom, presenting the main tenets of both sides in a very accessible, yet profoundly captivating style. The son explains certain aspect of Buddhism, which the father doesn't believe so an
Paul Loong
As a Easterner, when I first pick up this book, I am expecting to read a comparison of the Buddhism and Christianity. After reading it, I am shocked to find out that not only does it provide a comparison, but also that my original concept in Buddhism is totally wrong.

If you have a little knowledge or you want to know the real thinking of Buddhism, I strongly recommend you to read this book. If you are a Buddhist, this book provides a good contrast between Eastern and Western thinking.
A solid introduction about Buddhism structured in a QA. What makes it interesting is the authors backgrounds, and the fact that none of them get to drag long enough without being challenged, whether by expected or unexpected reasoning. The book is very broad allowing readers of the west into a curated insight.
Hiroshi Ishii-Adajar
Perfect introduction to Buddhism for someone with any background in Western philosophy and thinking but little to no background in Buddhism. Revel asks questions of Buddhism to examine its philosophical basis and rigorousness, insightful questions that are given insightful answers. I was intrigued enough after this book to pursue Buddhism further.
Nuno Ribeiro
A work of intelectual honesty, of inter-cultural respect and of father-son love. Through these pages, Jean Francois-Revel does not hold back any of his hard questions about spirituality and religion, nor does his son Matthieu Ricard try to dodge them. The result is a frank, deep talk, about some of the most fundamental questions that humans have studied and meditated about for thousands of years. All in a reunion of two sharp minds, that took place near the high mountains that are now the home o ...more
Finished with book #1 for the year 2014
The Monk and the Philosopher. In this book an atheistic philosopher (Ricard's father) and Matthieu Ricard (a follower of Buddhism) discuss the meaning of life. Regardless of your belief set, it is interesting to read about different perspectives and even more interesting to see people be civil about it, so give it a read if you're curious.
Not being especially well-versed in Western philosophy or Buddhism, I gained interesting insights from both sides of the debate--and made an incremental step or two towards enlightenment, perhaps.
If there were a 6-star option, I would rate this 6 stars.
Michel Van Goethem
Le moine et le philosophe
by Jean-François Revel
Feb 03, 2014 Peter added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1
Fantastic boook
Engaging, informative, intriguing. The dialogue between the father (philosopher) and son (monk) captures much of the tension in the interaction between western and eastern ideas. As a western person with a great interest in eastern philosophy and contemplative tradition, I found that both raised questions that echoed my own. In the process, the book offers a very digestible roadmap of Buddhist history and basic points of western philosophy, especially where relevant to Buddhist ideas.
Rigmor Munkvold
Engaging, informative, intriguing. The dialogue between the father (philosopher) and son (monk) captures much of the tension in the interaction between western and eastern ideas. As a western person with a great interest in eastern philosophy and contemplative tradition, I found that both raised questions that echoed my own. In the process, the book offers a very digestible roadmap of Buddhist history and basic points of western philosophy, especially where relevant to Buddhist ideas.
I don't think I learned anything new and I struggled with the dialog format. but it did address some of questions I had about Buddhism. Explicitly asks and answers questions like whether it considers itself a religion, whether it is nihilistic and how it sees reincarnation. a soft filing out of the details in compact and accessible portions of wisdom. the summary of western philosophy is no less valuable than the Buddhist view which dominates. In the end I can recommend it highly. :-)
Sep 06, 2007 melissa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in consciousness, philosophy and spirituality
Still only halfway through this book, but it's marvellous. It's written-up conversations between a French philosopher of the Western tradition, and his son, Matthieu Ricard - Buddhist monk and translator for the Dalai Lama. Because it's in the form of a conversation - you really see the personalities of, and relationship between, the two men ... and with each challenging the other, it's the perfect way to digest something of both Buddhist and Western philosophies.
Uma conversa desiquilibrada entre um senhor que explica muito bem uma data de coisas giras sobre o Budismo e outro senhor que supostamente está lá para defender a perspectiva céptica, secular e ocidental mas que não sabe bem o que está a dizer e repete constantemente algo como "Hum, curioso, isso até faz sentido, nunca tinha pensado nisso". A discussão sobre o "sentido da vida" é, na verdade, um workshop sobre Budismo.
Jordi Balaguer
¿en qué consiste la moral, si el sentido de la libertad y la responsabilidad es anulado por el sistema político? W.Ricard.

Un llibre que dona la volta a tots els temes: ciència, univers, religió, política, art, cultura, ètica, civisme... i tot ho desafia. M'ha fet crèixer a base de diàlegs i preguntes, al més pur estil plató-sòcrates. Una obra genial, per a mi INDISPENSABLE referència de coneixement.

As noted by most of the Goodreads reviews, this is a good introduction to buddhism. It was also for me a good reminder of western philosophy. The greatest strength for me lies in the discussions of Buddhism as a science of mind. When the discussion veers into Buddhist metaphysics or Tibetan politics the discussion remains interesting, but less convincing. Perhaps naive is the right term?
For the existentialists and Buddhists to get to know each other, finally.
I read this book right before I went through a hardcore Nietzsche phase/college program, and boy howdy, it is quite heavy. Some of the questions in this book are so big, and so unwieldy, that you will probably have to set the book down and drink a pot of coffee.
Intellectually stimulating as F*ck, no joke.

Neil Jenkins
Was slightly disappointed not to get more from the philosopher in terms of opinion. Very interesting introduction to Buddhism though. Interesting questions raised about the problems of the self, the importance of meditation and the transfer of energy. It shows the optimism of Buddhism for our ability to transform ourselves in one lifetime despite the reincarnation theory.
A very interesting dialogue between an atheist, philosopher father and his son, Mattheu, a trained scientist and an ordained Tibetan buddhist monk on what Buddhism is or isn't, and how aspects of it are mirrored in the writings of various philosophers over the years. Some of the best description of Buddhist tenants and what appeal they may have for all of us.
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Jean-François Revel was a French politician, journalist, author, prolific philosopher and member of the Académie française since June 1998.

He was best known for his books Without Marx or Jesus: The New American Revolution Has Begun, The Flight from Truth : The Reign of Deceit in the Age of Information and his 2002 book Anti-Americanism, one year after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In t
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“Consideremos, por ejemplo, la omnipotencia, pues un creador ha de ser onmipotente: o bien el creador no decide crear, y en ese caso pierde su omnipotencia, pues la creación se hace sin el concurso de su voluntad, o bien crea voluntariamente y ya no es todo poderoso, porque crea bajo la influencia del deseo de crear.” 1 likes
“the mind plays the essential role in satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and suffering, fulfillment and failure. The mind is behind every experience in life. It is also what determines the way we see the world. The mind is the window from which we see ‘our’ world. It only takes the slightest change in our minds, in our way of perceiving people and things, for that world to be turned completely upside-down.” 1 likes
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