The Shrink and the Sage : A Guide to Living, Paperback

The Shrink and the Sage : A Guide to Living Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Based on their Financial Times Weekend column, philosopher Julian Baggini and his psychotherapist partner Antonia Macaro offer intriguing answers to life's questions.

Can infidelity be good for you? What does it mean to stay true to yourself? Must we fulfil our potential? Self-help with a distinctly cerebral edge, the shrink and the sage - aka Julian Baggini and Antonia Macaro - have been dispensing advice through their FT column since October 2010.

Combining practical advice on personal dilemmas with meditations on the meaning of concepts like free will, spirituality and independence, this book - their first together - expands on these columns and adds much more.

Through questions of existential unease, metaphysical trauma and - for instance - how much we should care about our appearance, intellectual agony uncle and aunt team Baggini and Macaro begin to piece together the answer that we'd all like to hear: what is the good life, and how we can live it?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Popular philosophy
  • ISBN: 9781848313774



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I wasn't expecting this to be quite as good as it was. I've been familiar with Baggini thanks to his online presence and "The Ego Trick", so I was curious to see what this was about. What you get here is a combination of philosophy and psychology, a blend of "is and ought" which is embedded in a wider discussion of Aristotle's virtue ethics: what is the right way to live?<br/><br/>Each chapter is split in half, one section from "The Sage" and the other from "The Shrink" in a clever back-and-forth dialogue, leaving you with a bit of wisdom and a bit of modern empirical psychology in equal measure. This isn't quite a self-help book or a philosophy book, but presented more as a "practical guide to wisdom". I think it succeeded.

Review by

This book is very helpful in putting a focus on what is really important in life. It does not offer any particular solutions, but offers an interesting ways to look at the problems. Also, Baggini is the first author to convincingly explain to me of what use Aristotelian virtue can be today (and he was not the first to try :))My only complaint so far is that the "voices" of two authors are almost undistinguishable, while I've expected them to bring different perspectives. Of course, they did warn in the foreword that they intend to speak in concert, not argue, but still I could not ever distinguish who is speaking.