Neel Burton

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Neel Burton

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Born
June 03

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Plato, Aristotle, Arthur Schopenhauer, Henri Bergson, Jean-Paul Sartre ...more

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March 2013


Dr Neel Burton is a psychiatrist, philosopher, and wine-lover who lives and teaches in Oxford, England. He is a Fellow of Green-Templeton College in the University of Oxford, and the winner of several book prizes including, the feather in his cap, a Best in the World Gourmand Award. His work features regularly in the likes of Aeon and Psychology Today and has been translated into several languages. When he is not reading or writing, or imbibing, he enjoys cooking, gardening, skiing, learning languages, visiting museums and gardens, and travelling, especially to wine regions.

His books include:

- The Meaning of Madness (Ataraxia 1)
- Hide and Seek: The Psychology of Self-Deception (Ataraxia 2)
- Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions (A
...more

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Neel Burton Hi, I think this depends on where you are at and how you learn. A college course can give you motivation and confidence for attacking original texts, …moreHi, I think this depends on where you are at and how you learn. A college course can give you motivation and confidence for attacking original texts, force you to consider new philosophers and perspectives, and provide reassurance that you are engaging appropriately with the subject matter. But philosophy is a lifelong pursuit, and almost all of my reading and thinking has been extracurricular. I hope this helps!(less)
Neel Burton One book tends to inspire another.
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Hide and Seek: The Psycholo...

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Living with Schizophrenia

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More books by Neel Burton…

Why Mental Health is Even More Important Than We Think

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast an episode of the radio drama Mercury Theatre on the Air. This episode, entitled The War of the Worlds and based on a novel by HG Wells, suggested to listeners that a Martian invasion was taking place. In the charged atmosphere of the days leading up to World War II, many […]


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Why Mental Health is Even More Important Than We Think

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast an episode of the radio drama Mercury Theatre on the Air. This episode, entitled The War of the Worlds and Read more of this blog post »
Neel Burton shared a quote
The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting, third edition by Neel Burton
“Some people you invite them and they barely drink anything at all, others and you don't know where it all went, but the best guests are those that drink only slightly less than you.”
Neel Burton
Neel Burton shared a quote
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“Sometimes, breaking the rules is what makes life bearable.”
Neel Burton
Neel Burton answered Sue Foster's question: Neel Burton
Good question! It very much depends on the book, but maybe something 'difficult' and 'intellectual' like an old sherry, an austere Savennières, or a super-structured Barolo. The Italians have a name for such wines: vini da meditazione, or 'meditation See Full Answer
The Art of Failure by Neel Burton
"The self-help book has acquired a bad press of late, earning a reputation for dealing in platitudes, patronising, and generally failing to engage the more sophisticated and demanding reader. In styling itself as an 'anti self-help guide', Neel Burton" Read more of this review »
Hide and Seek by Neel Burton
"Non-fiction books have a certain notoriety for stating the obvious, but dispelling that myth, Dr. Neel Burton's Hide & Seek: The Psychology of Self-Deception provides information that is not only useful and enlightening but also formatted in a clear," Read more of this review »
Neel Burton rated a book it was amazing
The Talking Cure by John Heaton
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John Heaton is, amongst others, a practising psychiatrist and psychotherapist, a regular lecturer on the Advanced Diploma in Existential Psychotherapy programme at Regent’s College, London, and a long- and some-time editor of the Journal for Existent ...more
More of Neel's books…
“You see, people in the depressive position are often stigmatised as ‘failures' or ‘losers'. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. If these people are in the depressive position, it is most probably because they have tried too hard or taken on too much, so hard and so much that they have made themselves ‘ill with depression'. In other words, if these people are in the depressive position, it is because their world was simply not good enough for them. They wanted more, they wanted better, and they wanted different, not just for themselves, but for all those around them. So if they are failures or losers, this is only because they set the bar far too high. They could have swept everything under the carpet and pretended, as many people do, that all is for the best in the best of possible worlds. But unlike many people, they had the honesty and the strength to admit that something was amiss, that something was not quite right. So rather than being failures or losers, they are just the opposite: they are ambitious, they are truthful, and they are courageous. And that is precisely why they got ‘ill'. To make them believe that they are suffering from some chemical imbalance in the brain and that their recovery depends solely or even mostly on popping pills is to do them a great disfavour: it is to deny them the precious opportunity not only to identify and address important life problems, but also to develop a deeper and more refined appreciation of themselves and of the world around them—and therefore to deny them the opportunity to fulfil their highest potential as human beings.”
Neel Burton

“Depression: the healthy suspicion that modern life has no meaning and that modern society is absurd and alienating.”
Neel Burton, The Meaning of Madness

“There are essentially three types of people: those who love life more than they fear it, those who fear life more than they love it, and those who have no clue what I'm talking about.”
Neel Burton

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“Depression: the healthy suspicion that modern life has no meaning and that modern society is absurd and alienating.”
Neel Burton, The Meaning of Madness

“There are essentially three types of people: those who love life more than they fear it, those who fear life more than they love it, and those who have no clue what I'm talking about.”
Neel Burton

“Self-deception is a defining part of our human nature. By recognizing its various forms in ourselves and reflecting upon them, we may be able to disarm them and even, in some cases, to employ and enjoy them. This self-knowledge opens up a whole new world before us, rich in beauty and subtlety, and frees us not only to take the best out of it, but also to give it back the best of ourselves, and, in so doing, to fulfil our potential as human beings. I don't really think it's a choice.”
Neel Burton, Hide and Seek: The Psychology of Self-Deception

“The disease of the soul is both more common and more deadly than the disease of the body. Just as medicine is the art devoted to healing the body, so philosophy is the art devoted to healing the soul, curing it of improper emotions, false beliefs, and faulty judgments, which are the causes of so much hardship and handicap. To heal the body one turns to the practitioner of the art of healing the body, but to heal the soul there is no doctor to turn to, and each of us is left to become that doctor unto himself. Yet, this need not stop us from exhorting others to imitate us in the godly art, in the forlorn hope that they might transform themselves into better citizens for Athens and better companions for us.”
Neel Burton, Plato: Letters to my Son

“Philosophy is a bitter medicine with many fearsome side effects, but if you are able to stomach it, it can cure your soul of the many ills and infirmities of ignorance. Given the choice, most men prefer not to take it, and many of those who do soon find that they cannot carry on with it. In the end, they choose what is more pleasant over what is more wholesome, and prefer the society of those who encourage them in their follies to that of those who admonish and improve them. You, on the other hand, appear to be minded otherwise, for when a young men sets for himself the highest standards of education and conduct, he naturally shuns the company of mindless nobodies and boldly seeks out that of the singular men who are prepared to teach him and challenge him and exhort him to virtue. In time, by his strivings, he will come to realize that it is from the hardest toil and noblest deeds that the purest and most persisting pleasures are to be had, and, taking pity on other men, and thinking also of the gods, he will do everything in his power to share this precious secret.”
Neel Burton, Plato: Letters to my Son

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