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Few people have failed at love as spectacularly as the great philosophers. Although we admire their wisdom, history is littered with the romantic failures of the most sensible men and women of every age, including:

Friedrich Nietzsche: "Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent." (Rejected by everyone he proposed to, even when he kept asking and asking.)

Jean-Paul Sartre: "There are of course ugly women, but I prefer those who are pretty." (Adopted his mistress as his daughter.)

Louis Althusser: "The trouble is there are bodies and, worse still, sexual organs." (Accidentally strangled his wife to death.)

And dozens of other great thinkers whose words we revere—but whose romantic decisions we should avoid at all costs.

Includes an excerpt from Andrew Shaffer's new book Literary Rogues.

Topics: Love, Adultery, Philosophers, Informative, and Essays

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062036612
List price: $8.99
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Worthy of a glance just to learn of these renowned philosopher's take on love, marriage, celibacy, etc. A reader should not look to this book to find answers for the perfect relationship. ;)more
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love is a simple quick read. Many great philosophers were terribly misogynistic, some completely undone by sex. Kierkegaard had so little regard for himself that he seemed to be able to love only in thought and fantasy, a common occurrence among the philosophers. Kant was completely unaccepting of sex except as a means of procreation. Lucretius thought sex was morally acceptable only so long as love was not involved. Nietzsche directed love only at women not interested in him. Plato thought women should be held in common by many men and that only the acceptable should breed. The unacceptable should abort or commit infanticide. Rousseau, what a prize, had 5 children with a woman he deemed his inferior and gave each up to a foundling hospital so they wouldn't interfere with his work. He enjoyed being spanked and exposing himself to unsuspecting women. Bertrand Russell was a great champion of divorce and divorced 3 wives. He thought men and women need each other mentally as much as physically and finally settled down with the love of his life at the age of 80. Sartre, though ugly himself, preferred beautiful women and didn't respect prostitutes though visited them regularly. He did, though, inspire the love of Simone de Beauvoir. They each adopted a younger woman who was their lover.I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about people who can think about the great life but have difficulty in actually living.more
What comes to mind when someone says the words "philosophy" or "philosopher"? I must admit that if I didn't love philosophy as much as I do, I'd think of words such as "difficult," "boring," and "unimportant." Instead I think of men and women who have, through their deep intellectual thought, helped change the course of politics, business, theology, etc. I would NEVER, however, think of their personal--much less romantic--lives. Andrew Shaffer, on the other hand, did.Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love is a quick, informative, and fun read that reads more like People Magazine than anything academic (which it doesn't aim to be). Organized into short profiles, Shaffer provides the best examples from each philosopher's life that evidence failure in the romance department. Over thirty profiles give us a glimpse into the often dysfunctional love lives of some of history's greatest minds who also happened to be swingers, cheats, carriers of venereal diseases, and even killers ("accidental"). At times, the stories are so unbelievable that I had to remind myself I wasn't reading a work of fiction nor a supermarket tabloid. Unbelievable at these short informational profiles may seem, they are all based on researched fact.Here are just a few examples: * Jean-Paul Sartre: Adopted his mistress as his daughter * Leo Tolstoy: Had a tumultuous relationship of forty-eight years with his wife, Sophia * Louis Althusser: He accidentally (*cough cough*) strangled his wife * Immanuel Kant: He had a clinical view of marriageI enjoyed this book, but I don't recommend it for everyone. If you love philosophy and have no problem with delving into the personal lives of philosophers then this book is for you. If you just want to enhance your knowledge of philosophers beyond their philosophies or generic bio entries on Wikipedia then this is for you. If you have an issue with reading about philosophers and their romantic escapades then this book is NOT for you. Plain and simple.Shaffer, no matter what you think of this book, did do some good research. The bibliography at the end provides a notable selection of scholarly materials that point the reader in the direction of fine primary and secondary sources for further research. Not bad at all for a debut novel and a foray into a subject Shaffer is not an expert on.I do have one major criticism of the book. While the majority of philosophers did fail at love, not all of them in this book fit the title of the work. I question Shaffer's decision in including Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo, to name a few. I would disagree that these men failed in love, but rather they found love in a different way. Aquinas found a passion for God--hardly a failure at love. Augustine, on the hand, may have had relationships with a number of women, but his conversion led him to a life of service to God. I would hardly call that failure, but a different end on a road towards love.more
excelente, engraçado pra caramba, super recomendo !!!!!more
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Reviews

Worthy of a glance just to learn of these renowned philosopher's take on love, marriage, celibacy, etc. A reader should not look to this book to find answers for the perfect relationship. ;)more
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love is a simple quick read. Many great philosophers were terribly misogynistic, some completely undone by sex. Kierkegaard had so little regard for himself that he seemed to be able to love only in thought and fantasy, a common occurrence among the philosophers. Kant was completely unaccepting of sex except as a means of procreation. Lucretius thought sex was morally acceptable only so long as love was not involved. Nietzsche directed love only at women not interested in him. Plato thought women should be held in common by many men and that only the acceptable should breed. The unacceptable should abort or commit infanticide. Rousseau, what a prize, had 5 children with a woman he deemed his inferior and gave each up to a foundling hospital so they wouldn't interfere with his work. He enjoyed being spanked and exposing himself to unsuspecting women. Bertrand Russell was a great champion of divorce and divorced 3 wives. He thought men and women need each other mentally as much as physically and finally settled down with the love of his life at the age of 80. Sartre, though ugly himself, preferred beautiful women and didn't respect prostitutes though visited them regularly. He did, though, inspire the love of Simone de Beauvoir. They each adopted a younger woman who was their lover.I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about people who can think about the great life but have difficulty in actually living.more
What comes to mind when someone says the words "philosophy" or "philosopher"? I must admit that if I didn't love philosophy as much as I do, I'd think of words such as "difficult," "boring," and "unimportant." Instead I think of men and women who have, through their deep intellectual thought, helped change the course of politics, business, theology, etc. I would NEVER, however, think of their personal--much less romantic--lives. Andrew Shaffer, on the other hand, did.Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love is a quick, informative, and fun read that reads more like People Magazine than anything academic (which it doesn't aim to be). Organized into short profiles, Shaffer provides the best examples from each philosopher's life that evidence failure in the romance department. Over thirty profiles give us a glimpse into the often dysfunctional love lives of some of history's greatest minds who also happened to be swingers, cheats, carriers of venereal diseases, and even killers ("accidental"). At times, the stories are so unbelievable that I had to remind myself I wasn't reading a work of fiction nor a supermarket tabloid. Unbelievable at these short informational profiles may seem, they are all based on researched fact.Here are just a few examples: * Jean-Paul Sartre: Adopted his mistress as his daughter * Leo Tolstoy: Had a tumultuous relationship of forty-eight years with his wife, Sophia * Louis Althusser: He accidentally (*cough cough*) strangled his wife * Immanuel Kant: He had a clinical view of marriageI enjoyed this book, but I don't recommend it for everyone. If you love philosophy and have no problem with delving into the personal lives of philosophers then this book is for you. If you just want to enhance your knowledge of philosophers beyond their philosophies or generic bio entries on Wikipedia then this is for you. If you have an issue with reading about philosophers and their romantic escapades then this book is NOT for you. Plain and simple.Shaffer, no matter what you think of this book, did do some good research. The bibliography at the end provides a notable selection of scholarly materials that point the reader in the direction of fine primary and secondary sources for further research. Not bad at all for a debut novel and a foray into a subject Shaffer is not an expert on.I do have one major criticism of the book. While the majority of philosophers did fail at love, not all of them in this book fit the title of the work. I question Shaffer's decision in including Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo, to name a few. I would disagree that these men failed in love, but rather they found love in a different way. Aquinas found a passion for God--hardly a failure at love. Augustine, on the hand, may have had relationships with a number of women, but his conversion led him to a life of service to God. I would hardly call that failure, but a different end on a road towards love.more
excelente, engraçado pra caramba, super recomendo !!!!!more
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