The Consolations of Philosophy: Reflections in an Economic Downturn

There is a review of this book (featuring essays by members of the TCD Philosophy Department) in Monday’s Irish Times.

5 replies on “The Consolations of Philosophy: Reflections in an Economic Downturn”


Thanks for posting this – definitely on my purchase list! Pity the IT reviewer didn’t tell us more about the book’s contents and that the publisher hasn’t allowed would be amazon customers to read an extract online. I wasn’t aware that Boetius was a ‘great philosopher’; I always thought he was more a bit of a political charlatan and a Christian convert whose death was portrayed as martyrdom and whose name lived on as a relatively popular forename for some centuries thereafter, including in Ireland. Hopefully, the book may reveal all.

While I never had much time for philosophers before, in the last few years I found myself in need of a professional, comprehensive analysis of just what is going wrong–systemically–with contemporary society.

However, reading the review and the description, this book appears to be of the introspective and personal type. I’d prefer to see discussions of the wider meaning and effects of ethics, motives, government, etc. It would be good to see a book which deals with the Zeitgeist of our times, rather than having to rely on amateur youtube videos.


Try ‘The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity’, Jurgen Habermas …. should pick up a good unread copy on Amazon for a fiver … enjoy!


Pierre Bourdieu trained as philosopher, before he went on to his illustrious career in sociology. One of the things he studied was the power structures within the world of philosophy and academia more widely.

‘If I have resolved to ask some questions that I would rather have left to philosophy, it is because it seemed to me that philosophy, for all its questioning, did not ask them; and because, especially with respect to the social sciences, it never ceasd to raise questions that did not seem to me to be essential- while avoiding asking itself about the reasons and above all the (often not very philosophical) causes of its questioning’

“Pascalian mediations’ Polity Press 1997.

The intellectual equivalent of gold bars, IMHO.

From the review, I guess the book simply raises the issue that certain Macro -extremities, in our case, the recent economic downturn, can ultimately force the ‘Self-Unexamined’ to ‘Self-Examine’ for self-betterment and spiritual I guess.

Socrates would agree too:
“The unexamined life is not worth living” – (470-399 BCE)

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