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101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life
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101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  389 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Roger Pol-Droit's highly original book is a reassessment of our day-to-day engagement with life. In 101 short texts, written with limpid elegance, Droit invites us to reconsider our most ordinary actions as unexpected philosophical events: peeling an apple, trying to lie in a hammock, watching someone sleep, hearing your voice on an answering machine, playing with a small ...more
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Published November 6th 2003 by Faber Faber (first published January 1st 2001)
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Gabriel Sommer
Have you ever peeled an apple in your head? Have you ever left a movie theatre in the climax of the story?
This book is full of different experiments that one might do, and see the impact on their lives. Now none of these experiments are deadly or harmful, they have usually a mental or emotional impact. I have done almost all of these experiments, and they are amazingly entertaining, and very interesting. One experiment that I though very interesting, and entertaining is See the Stars Below You.
...more
Jill
Oct 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In short: this starts off strong. Thought-provoking, and quite beautifully written. But soon, all the 'experiments' (which don't actually need to be performed -- they're thought experiments at best, and ramblings at face value) blend together into one big "Accept Your Own Mortality & The Pointlessness Of Life" mash. Fine, whatever -- but there's a lot more to philosophy than that. This should've been titled "101 Experiments in Recognizing Futility" or something to that effect. Just so you kn ...more
Spencer
some of his suggestions/quotes:
"telephone at random, tell them who you are"
"drink while urinating"
"imagine the stars below you"
"what makes a small circus so moving is its mixture of misery and reverie"
"blue icing can provoke a kind of indefinable malaise"
and my favorite-
"watch dust in the sun". you know when the light is just right and a sliver of it comes through the blinds and illuminates all the dust particles floating in the air? Well what else do you take for real that is only half of the p
...more
Laura Lee
I am enjoying this little book. I say "enjoying" rather than "enjoyed" because it is not really the type of book you read front to back and assimilate at once. It is intended to be a book that you jump into at random for inspiration and firestarters for the imagination. Some of the experiments are more appealing and interesting than others, and that will surely vary from reader to reader. This is a good book for a writer or artist who wants little jabs to the imagination. I like it much more tha ...more
Bricks
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeping-forever
we all ought to try to see the world in different ways, rather than how society breeds us to see it. thus, when we drink while urinating, follow the movement of ants and visualize piles of human organs, our lives become a little livelier.
Katelyn
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hipsters & intellectuals
Shelves: nonfiction
One of the most unique books I've ever read. It's full of experiments that sort of challenge your view of reality. Definitely walks a fine line between cool & stupid, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Nic
Sep 20, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
strange things become thoughtful insights
David Svinth
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Bogen består af 101 øvelser eller eksperimenter, der kaster et filosofisk lys over tilværelsen.

Jeg nød bogen og prøvede en del af øvelserne i begyndelsen. Teksterne til øvelserne var godt skrevet, og de fik mig til at tænke over eksistensen.

Dog var det alt for meget med 101 øvelser. De 30 bedste havde været nok til at komme omkring de vigtige aspekter.
Marko Teräs
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books I happened to find accidentally. once again it was shouting to me from one shelf in a library [Kuori omena päässäsi in Finnish:]. Yes, I still sometimes visit a library, not reading everything in PDF [trying to avoid reading anything longer than 2-4 pages in PDF:]. But anyway, I really liked this book and think it’s amazing!
What’s it about

Like the title says; the book contains a list of 101 experiments one can just read through or even try. They are of course more tha
...more
LaViejaPiragua
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
PROPUESTAS DESCONCERTANTES PARA EXPERIMENTAR NUEVAS PERSPECTIVAS SOBRE LO QUE NOS RODEA.

Solemos vivir de manera superficial, un poco narcotizados por la rutina, por la repetición automática de gestos y palabras; nos sentimos seguros en un mundo en el que todo se comporta de manera previsible porque así nos parece que podemos controlar nuestra vida y la de los que nos rodean y eso, claro, nos tranquiliza. Que ese control y esa tranquilidad sean falsos, una mera convención colectiva, no nos import
...more
Marc Lacuesta
Aug 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who take themselves too seriously. Also, those who don't take themselves seriously enough.
It's an interesting premise: Simple exercises you can perform in your own house, or out around your neighborhood can shake you out of your unenlightenedness... it's a do-it-yourself philosophy book for those who want to learn about the nature of their true self.

The exercises are short in description, about two to three pages a piece. Some of the exercises are silly (take 30 minutes to crawl around and act like a wild animal, so as to tap into basic animal instincts?). Or maybe I'm just not commi
...more
Nayeli
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kept this as my backup printed book (just in case there was no electricity, I guess?) been reading it on an off for a year or so. I think it's best not to read it all at once because it can get overwhelming.

The "experiments" are really interesting, do notice I used quotes there... because most of them hardly seem like experiments at all and are more like descriptions of experiences you probably already had but never thought too deeply about, and for me it's kind of amazing to over-analyze thin
...more
Charlie
There was some really unnecessary and triggering stuff, and far more references to consumption than there needed to be, but some of these thought experiments were as mind-expanding as they claimed to be. I also know now what it is to "dread the arrival of the bus", though for very different reasons than the ones listed in that thought experiment. In my own case, the dread came from knowing that the arriving bus would be taking away from me someone that I loved for an unknown amount of time. It w ...more
Nativeabuse
May 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book might be great for someone who is a complete idiot, who needs to be told suggestions like 'go out for a walk!'.

The book was divided up mainly between moronic experiments that are laughably stupid, and experiments the equivalent of my example 'go for a walk', 'take a nap', ect.

There were a few that sounded interesting, but these were far and few in between.

What is worse is that none of these things were related back to philosophy or anything close to it. After each experiment the autho
...more
Kris McCracken
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's best to think of this book as a little toolbox to help you explore some of the biggest questions in philosophy through the use of practical exercises. Each of the 101 exercises is carefully, even lovingly explained, with duration, necessary props and intended effect listed first.

The goal is to break down some of our automated mental mechanisms, challenge preconceived notions of the world, our fixed ideas and perhaps see the world from a clean slate. Not every exercise will do that for every
...more
Asia
Jun 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those that are bored and willing to look silly
It was fun for a few days, but I hid it so that I could stumble upon it in the future.
This book takes things we all (think we) know, for instance the way a word loses its meaning when repeated multiple times, and confronts them in a way no book I've ever seen does.
It's a good read because it covers many of these same weird philosophies of human nature, life in general, and the obvious things we overlook.
Masha Vishnevsky
Jul 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chronic philosophers
i pick this up once in a while and do just one experiment at a time. Im learning that there is so much we take for granted and never even think of thinking about. The experiments are fun. Some are challenging. All are thought provoking. Currently i am trying hard to rid myself of my clock and time obsession in order to get in touch with my internal clock. I never realized how many times i look at my cell phone to see that i had just checked the time 6 minutes earlier. It's sick.
Anita
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a terrible idea to chuck all the self-help books & focus on trying all 101 of these experiments. Jeep a journal of your experiences, and you might end up learning a lot about yourself and your relationship with the world around you. Some of the experiments echo things I do all the time, some I would be extremely hesitant to try, the majority seem completely charming & wonderful. Finally, this was translated from French and the Frenchiness still shines thru. I enjoyed that.
Ashley
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't connect with this one, but the idea is perfectly fantastic. Did I come away stunned or awed, or find myself feeling totally immersed while I was reading? Nope. But did I close the book with a new appreciation for trying on "new eyes," playing with new thought processes and thinking outside the box more than normal?
Absolutely.
Kory
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
While reading through this book I realized I've done a lot of the "experiments"... especially contemplating a dead bird, though in my case it was a bunch of road kill, there were a few birds though.

It's really quite a good book on philosophy, and can get you to do things you wouldn't normally, that is if you actually go and do them.
Allegra
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: existential warriors
Recommended to Allegra by: found it in a bookstore
Fun, mind-bending, challenging, mischevious. In other words, I love the 101 exercises, which are poetic and meditative to read and strangely wonderful to try. I reccommend it to people endeavoring to understand in their own way the nature of what we see around us every day, how we interpret that information, and how much of it is significantly real.
Katie
Jun 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-for-fun
It's a semi-interesting book. The author takes a variety of experiences and adds a rating of *effect* to them. For example--try fasting for 12 to 36 hours to see why it can be good, scary, or make you feel more connected to the earth (says the author).
It looked more interesting to read about it than to actually read it.
Evie
Feb 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
I borrowed this book from the library by chance and I really enjoyed it. Simple and clear, these small experiments help entertain new insight into everyday existence, and help extend understanding. I would love to own this book in future, knowing that I would read it again and again, using it as a primer to take something more from the mundane.
Evan Snyder
Aug 19, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found I already done 95% of the so-called experiments in this book just by living and pondering. Adults who can naturally day-dream and get lost in thought about the oddities of perspective and the world probably will find this book to be a statement of the obvious.
Harvey
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- a big-seller in France
- here are 101 two-page, simple experiments that anyone can do; each providing small insights into complex (and often quite abstract) philosophical concepts
- quite good, I thought
Katelyn
Aug 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
Oh, thought-provoking experiments! How my life has been changed!
Kelley
Aug 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, guy-books
Crazy little book of some strange little exercises.
John Gentry
I expected so much more....while no doubt entertaining and definitely philosophically relevant on an egocentric level, it was just too hit or miss for a higher rating.
Carlos Sebastian Olate
Algunos ejercicios permiten la reflexión y son entretenidos e interesantes, pero considerar el libro como un acercamiento a la filosofía sería un poco osado, si al pensamiento reflexivo.
JoAnn
Aug 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fun and thought provoking little daily experiments that challenge our perceptions.
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“Futility can lead to thought, the laughable can become serious, and depth can succeed superficiality. Not all the time, and not necessarily, it goes without saying. Not every idiocy contains a philosophical pearl.

But there exist ordinary situations, everyday gestures, actions we carry out continuously, which can become the starting point for that astonishment that gives rise to philosophy.”
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