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Great Thinkers: Simple Tools from 60 Great Thinkers to Improve Your Life Today

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  896 ratings  ·  100 reviews
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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Always Pouting
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Always a fan of people distilling down philosophy for me so I don't have to do something unfortunate like actually read Hegel. I really like that it gave a sampling of people who have contributed Big Ideas and explains those ideas in a way relevant to daily modern life. I actually didn't know quite a few of the people mentioned in the book and eventually plan on picking up those people's writing to learn more.
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far, really good. I think I'm learning more from this compared to my philosophy class in university. I'm reading this book in Alain de Botton's voice. If you're not familiar with his work, go to The School of Life channel on YouTube. I think the way he delivers philosophy stands out because he's able to put it in today's context. Philosophy has this reputation of being archaic. A lot of students I know have headaches just reading assigned philosophical works. But, I am thoroughly enjoying thi ...more
Nyamka Ganni
What a wonderful and wise compilation.

"Anger is caused by violent collision of hope and reality. "
"What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears" - Seneca
"Friendship teaches us what we ought to be. "
"The art lies in concealing the art."
"True modesty comes from confidence. Modesty is a lack of anxiety about being ignored"

personal favorites
- Stoics
- Epicurus (interesting how his ideas influenced Karl Marx)
- Michel de Montaigne
- Friedrich Nietzsche
- Arthur Sch
Spencer Fraye
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thought-provoking. Learned a lot and opened my eyes to some new perspectives on things. If you were unaware, just about everything mentioned in the book is available in video format on their YouTube channel (@TheSchoolofLife)
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
A mixed bag, this. The School of Life is overly enamored by nihilism and finding value in meaninglessness and the eventuality of death.
Sir Readalot
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Alt title: "Philosophy for people in hurry"

The book provides Crux of some famous philosophies, which is enough for you to learn and apply in your daily life.

5/5 will read this book again.
Koen Van den Eeckhout
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What a deliciously straightforward, open-minded, positive book!
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
From time to time I try to read accessible introductory works on philosophy in order to improve my own didactical skills to explain philosophy in a more concise and understandable manner. Since the growing popularity of the School of Life and because I can sympathize with their mission I thought to give their book a go.

In the book they manage to convey important philosophical insights in a simple manner and they tried to assemble a diverse canon, at which I think they could have done a better jo
Miguel Miranda
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bought it on a whim, I always enjoyed the quality of the YouTube videos. I'll forever treasure this book in my bookshelf to use as a constant reference. I marked my favorite thinkers because I plan to digest those pages like a priest would do to the Bible.
Steve Hitchcock
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should be made to read this. The world would be a better place.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Many life-changing ideas from great thinkers and artists, written for all kinds of readers to grasp and enjoy.
Shahab Mosharraf
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-precious
I usually pass on the part of writing a review after finishing a book because updating my reading list and piling up my shelves is all that I care for. But once in a while, I come across this kind of books which are like family members, that claim a position deep in my heart. In this particular case, I started reading this book probably in 2018. I read it at home, campus, CNG commutes to tuition, to zindabazar, at Pathantula's Fulkoli, Upashahar's Saffron(It kinda became a ritual for sometime, i ...more
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
A big book, not of madness, but of extremely short introductions to great thinkers. Short is the keyword here: although the book itself is quite heavy (400+ pages), each and every 'great thinker' only gets a page or three if they are lucky. I did love the feel of the paper, the concise writing style and the addition of figures where needed, but I still felt the need to dive in deeper after quite a few of those short chapters. I also appreciated the fact that more than only great philosophers wer ...more
Rrezearta Elezi
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book if you're interested in having most fundamental informations about some of great minds that helped shape our vision for art, architecture, social interactions, lifestyle choices and over introspective. Its very well written and thought of, eloquent, and focuses mainly on the very carefully paragraphed highlights of the works of the people portrait in the book!
Ricardo Castañeda
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was fascinated with this book. I've always searched for ways to understand how philosophy and "thinking" in general has evolved throughout the history of humankind, and I believe this book summarizes it perfectly. Very easy to digest, still deep enough to have a very good understanding of all the concepts covered.
Alexandru Somesan
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
You take 3-5 ideas per 60 of the most brilliant minds in history. You then group them into categories (philosophy, art, literature, etc.). With special care, you add the ingredient of context (personal, historical, socio-cultural). The result? A delicious thought-provoking pie, which will most likely change a bit the way you think or act, or at least encourage reflection on important topics.
Brandon Power
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anyone with the slightest of interest in philosophy needs this on their shelf.
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
An excellent book from The School of Life. Unlike other books that survey philosophy and ideas, this one selects 60 thinkers whose ideas are considered to be specifically useful and practical for living one's life. Ranging across philosophy, political theory, Eastern philosophy, sociology, psychotherapy, art & architecture, and literature in an easy to read approach. Very informative and enjoyable read. ...more
Michael Tenev
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blinkist
"Be humble and look at the stars."
Philip Philipovich
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Great Thinkers, not so great summeries of their thoughts.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderfully combined book. I cried and laughed, and agreed and had some of the deepest conversations in my life - with this book, an imaginable storyteller for whom I felt the deepest admiration. It is an eye opener for me, since lots of these ideas resemble with me daily.
While reading this book, it felt that I had a partner for debates and discussion for several weeks. The book is wonderfully written and possibly the strongest five stars awarded so far by me on Goodreads.
Jaron Dunford
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Notes from Great Thinkers:

Plato devoted his life to helping people reach eudaimonia. Almost means happiness but is really close to fulfillment, because happiness suggests continuous chirpiness, whereas fulfillment is more compatible with periods of great pain and suffering, which seem to be an unavoidable part of even a good life.

The Stoics were keen astronomers and recommended the contemplation of the heavens to all students of philosophy. On an evening walk, look up and see the planets: you’ll
Engo Koc
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's like having the practical solutions of 60 wise grandpa's.
Elliot Richards
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable read, though it took me a little while to get through the 400+ pages and it is a very heavy book, but worth it. I found the book enlightening and invaluable.
Tiago Faleiro
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, philosophy, art
Very enjoyable read. From its title, I was expecting to be entirely about philosophy, but to my surprise that was only a relatively minor part of it. From political theory to sociology, psychotherapy, architecture, and literature, one thing this book doesn't miss is diversity.

I didn't find some of the people selected very interesting, particularly in sociology. In fact, in some, I got quite bored and felt like dropping the book. Thankfully, I enjoyed the rest so much that it definitely paid off
Felipe CZ
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Great book that summarizes great thinkers of the past's wisdom that is still relevant today. Stoicism that can help overcome anxiety; Aquinas reconciliation of faith and science; Smith's capitalism principles; Lao Tzu's teachings on how life can be sweet if we follow its natural flow and contemplate; anthropological research of Margaret Mead; Freud's ideas about childhood pleasure; Jane Austen's teachings about judging people carefully. Some of humanity's great thinkers still have something to t ...more
Sean Teasdale
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it
A useful and erudite source of reference, but these days I’m a bit weary and critical of Botton. A great deal of his earnest advice flirts too freely with psychoanalytical pseudoscience and free-wheeling, arbitrary opinion. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water though; he has some insightful explanatory analysis to offer, particularly on capitalism and status anxiety.
Fernando Agüero
One of the best things I've read:

1. You can choose where to start and where to continue
2. It's easy to read (I love the style)
3. It will make you discover a lot of new concepts (and thinkers)

I would recommend it even if the book was only half of what it is.

Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-english
Beautiful introduction to some of the most important people in human history. School of life rules!
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Excellent overview of some of the great thinkers history has produced over time.
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