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Book Review on The Consolations of Philosophy - Essay Example

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The Consolations of Philosophy, a book authored by Alain de Botton, reviews the thoughts of six philosophers - Socrates, Montaigne, Epicurus, Seneca, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer – in relation to living a happy and fulfilled life. Their views could well be applied in the…
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Book Review on The Consolations of Philosophy
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Download file to see previous pages While cultural shock and temptation to conform is the plight of international students, appreciating one’s identity, friendship, positive attitude towards pain, and keeping oneself entertained is all what one needs to live a happy and fulfilled life.
Epicurus, a Greek philosopher, puts the idea of friendship into perspective when he attaches his happiness to it. He notes that while he had adequate wealth and lavish house, his happiness was a product of the company he entertained rather than his wealth. He thus created a habit of eating together with his friends. In the same vein, most international students are a privileged lot with money or scholarships that accord them lavish lifestyles. However, their happiness cannot be derived from wealth or material property, but instead from congenial company with friends. Epicurus’ philosophy against pegging on wealth as a source of happiness may be reinforced by Seneca, a Roman Stoic philosopher, who asserts that “a man’s peace of mind does not depend on Fortune.” Therefore, international students should endeavour to create a new clique of reliable friends in the earliest convenience. They should further relish doing things together including eating.
Culture shock is a real experience that any person in a foreign country undergoes or lives through in their initial months. Michel the Montaigne, One of the most influential writers when talking about people travelling in foreign lands notes that, “Once out of their villages, they feel like fish out of water, clinging to their ways and cursing foreign ones.” This is a difficult period that is characterised by homesickness and tendency to stay secluded. In order to help such students cope with the new culture, most colleges and universities have devised induction programs. However, Socrates sounds warning bells against the idea of conforming to new systems without questioning their logic. Arguing from his experience ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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