Bring Philosophy to Life

People are understandably confused about what philosophy is for these days. The average school doesn’t teach it, the average adult doesn’t understand it, and the whole subject can seem scary, strange and kind of unnecessary. That’s a real pity, because in fact, philosophy has a lot to teach all of us.

Philosophy is a discipline committed to helping us live wiser and happier lives. At The School of Life we believe it should be brought out from the confines of libraries and lecture halls and applied to the challenges of modern life. These new card sets allow us to carry concise explanations of great philosophical ideas around with us, so that we can refer to them whenever we are in need of a little guidance and perspective.

Through these cards, essential thoughts about love, work, anxiety, self-knowledge and happiness are rescued, highlighted and inspiringly presented so they can work their consoling effect where it is most needed: in our daily lives.

Western Philosophy
This box draws together twenty of the greatest ideas found in Western philosophy, spanning the history of thought from Socrates to Jean-Paul Sartre. Each is displayed on a beautiful illustrated card. We are reminded of the wit, humanity and relevance of a number of philosophies including Nietzsche and Heidegger, Kant and Camus, Machiavelli and Kierkegaard. Shop Now >>
‘Many of life’s most worthwhile projects will, at points, be quite at odds with contentment, but may be worth pursuing nevertheless. Henceforth, we shouldn’t try to be happy; we should accept the greater realism, ambition and patience that accompanies the quest for eudaimonia.’

On Eudaimonia - Western Philosophy
Eastern Philosophy
In the East, philosophy has taught its lessons via tea-drinking ceremonies, walks in bamboo forests, contemplations of rivers and ritualised flower arranging sessions. These cards take us on a journey around the key concepts of the great Eastern thinkers – Confucius, Lao Tzu and the Buddha – as well as the art and practices of many of their followers. Shop Now >>
‘At fifteen I had my mind bent on intellectual learning. At thirty, I was busy and practical. At forty, I had doubts. At fifty, I started to learn. At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reception of truth. At seventy, I had learnt to follow the five virtues.’

On Confucius and the Five Virtues - Eastern Philosophy
Extract from The Book of Life
Why Philosophy Should Become
More Like Pop Music

When pop music started in a big way in the 1960s, it seemed at times like an especially silly medium, favoured by hormonal school girls and connected up with delinquent and tediously bizarre behaviour.

By contrast, philosophy had a reputation for being deeply serious and impressive – the natural home of the big ambition to understand ourselves and transform the world through ideas.

But since the 1960s, philosophy has stalled and pop has conquered the world. It is now the foremost medium for the articulation of ideas on a mass scale. This explains why, if it is to survive, philosophy must study pop; part of its salvation lies in understanding pop’s techniques so as to be able to become, in crucial ways, a little more like it.

Related Tools from our Culture Collection
Great Thinkers
The Canon of The School of Life. The ideas of 60 of the greatest minds
of our time.
German Untranslatable Words
20 compound words from German for when our language fails us.
20 Aphorisms
A set of 20 cards printed with small sentences carrying large truths from across history.
£20 / $30 / €29
Philosophers from our YouTube Channel
International News
Find Calm and Relationships in Portuguese
We are pleased to announce that Brazilian publishers Sextante have published our Calm and Relationships books in Portuguese. These books are available at The School of Life in Sao Paulo and on Other titles from The School of Life Press have also been published in German, Dutch, Korean and Thai.