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The Shrink and The Sage

Is philosophy therapeutic?

“There is no profit in philosophy when it doesn’t expel the sufferings of the mind,” claimed Epicurus. Some 2,300 years later, plenty of people still agree, most notably Alain de Botton, who in 2000 splashed this quote on the back cover of his book The Consolations of Philosophy. But when I hear this line trotted out, far from soothing my psyche, it provokes a dangerous surge in my blood pressure.

FT Weekend Magazine column (31 August/1 September)

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