The sixth book in the 50 Classics series is almost out.
Official release date in the UK is March 15 and in the US, Canada, Australia and many other countries April 1.
To celebrate, I will be having a small launch in London on Friday 15th March at 6.00 pm - and you are cordially invited! Please come, it will be a great chance for us to meet.
I will give a talk on some of the themes in the book (not too heavy, I know it's Friday night) and mention some of the writings that really inspired me, from Aristotle to Wittgenstein.
If you are coming, just reply to this email telling me so and I will add your name to the guest list and send full event details.
It's at Evolve wellness centre in South Kensington, and because the room is not huge and we only have it until 8 pm, afterwards we will retire to a local pub, the Hereford Arms (SW7 4TE), to continue the conversation. If you are not able to make it earlier you can join us there!
The event is free but if you would like to buy the book please bring £12.
On to the book
50 Philosophy Classics provides analyses of key works by Descartes, Schopenhauer, Hegel, Heidegger, and Nietzsche among others to show how philosophy helped shape the thinking and events of the last 150 years. The list also includes 20th century greats including de Beauvoir, Foucault, Kuhn, and Baudrillard, along with the writings and ideas of contemporary thinkers including Peter Singer, Noam Chomsky, Harry Frankfurt, Sam Harris, Michael Sandel and Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Naturally my 'angle' is how many of these great works can help us become better thinkers and better people, and gain valuable insights into reality and the human condition. If you don't know much about philosophy but would like to, the book is a good place to start.
Two free sample chapters are available in advance of launch, the first on Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition, the second on Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness. I particularly liked these books and think you will too, as they are both about the freedom and power of the individual.
Just reply to this newsletter with either 'Arendt' or 'Sartre' in the title bar and I'll send you back the free commentary.
Here are the 'In a nutshell' comments from both:
Arendt: "The nature of being human is to do the unexpected, and every birth carries with it the possibility of a changed world."
Sartre: "There is no essential nature at the heart of our being. We are free to invent a self and create a life as we wish."
International man of mystery
Good friend and colleague Guy Campos is about to embark on a round-the-world tour and is keen to have a cup of tea and a chat with any readers who would like to talk personal development. Guy is a magazine industry veteran and is considering launching a new success/psychology publication with me later in the year. He would love to know more about the self-development scene where you live, what your particular likes and interests are, and if there are any significant people locally you think he should meet.
Here are his dates, taking in India, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, China, Japan, USA and Iceland:
8 March Delhi, Agra, 13 March Ahmedabad, 17 March Mumbai, 22 March Kolkata, Odisha (Bhubaneswar, Kakirigumma tbc) 31 March, Yangon-Heho-Inle-Indein-Pindaya-Kalaw-Mandalay-Baganetc 9 April, Bangkok, Pangmapha 16 April, Singapore, 23 April, Denpasar 7 May, Shanghai, Beijing (Xian, Dunhuang tbc) 21 May, Osaka/Tokyo 29 May, LA/San Francisco, 7 June New York, 14 June Reykjavik.
If you can meet Guy at any of these times and places please let me know and I'll be pleased to put you in touch with him. Thank you.
Beams of light
Some parting words from the American philosopher and psychologist William James:
“Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits. It works in the minutest crannies and it opens out the widest vistas. It ‘bakes no bread,’ as has been said, but it can inspire our souls with courage; and repugnant as its manners, its doubting and challenging, its quibbling and dialectics, often are to common people, no one of us can get along without the far-flashing beams of light it sends over the world's perspectives.”
Very kind regards,
p.s. Pic to your right is from the back sleeve of 50 Philosophy Classics. It's not by a professional photographer but my 7 year old daughter :)