A self-help guide which applies the teachings of philosophers to dealing with life's everyday problems.
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
2000  

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Century of the Self (TV Mini-Series 2002)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerfull mean of persuasion for both governments and corporations.

Stars: Martin Bergmann, Ann Bernays, Edward Bernays
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

BEING IN THE WORLD takes us on a journey around the world to meet philosophers influenced by the thought of Martin Heidegger, as well as experts in the fields of sports, music, craft, and ... See full summary »

Director: Tao Ruspoli
Stars: Tony Austin, Taylor Carman, Leah Chase
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A series of films about how humans have been colonized by the machines we have built. Although we don't realize it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers.

Stars: Adam Curtis, Stewart Brand, Peder Anker
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Mythologist Joseph Campbell presents his ideas about comparative mythology and the ongoing role of myth in human society.

Stars: Joseph Campbell, George Lucas, Bill Moyers
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Viennese doctor Josef Breuer meets with philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to help him deal with his despair.

Director: Pinchas Perry
Stars: Ben Cross, Armand Assante, Joanna Pacula
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Four boys from Sudan embark on a journey to America after years of wandering Sub-Saharan Africa in search of safety.

Directors: Christopher Dillon Quinn, Tommy Walker
Stars: Panther Bior, John Bul Dau, Nicole Kidman
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Duncan navigates the unsteady world of romance and relationships, going through five girlfriends in four years. Unfortunately, none of them turn out well.

Director: Julian Kemp
Stars: Brendan Patricks, Naomie Harris, Kelly Adams
Zizek! (2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A look at the controversial author, philosopher and candidate for Slovenian presidency: Slavoj Zizek.

Director: Astra Taylor
Stars: Slavoj Zizek
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A series of three documentaries about the use of fear for political gain.

Stars: Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, Gilles Kepel
How Art Made the World (TV Series 2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Documentary series looking at the influence of art on the current day situation of our society.

Stars: Nigel Spivey, Dominic Ffytche, James David Lewis-Williams
Status Anxiety (TV Movie 2004)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
Director: Neil Crombie
Stars: Alain de Botton, Stephen Bayley, Les Brown
The Perfect Home (TV Mini-Series 2006)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A look at how our environment and the perfect home can philosophically affect our happiness, and how innovative architecture can contribute to the perfect home.

Stars: Alain de Botton
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Alain de Botton ...
 Himself - Presenter (6 episodes, 2000)
Edit

Storyline

A self-help guide which applies the teachings of philosophers to dealing with life's everyday problems.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 March 2000 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Potentially Instrumental.
22 June 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Alain de Botton, a balding young Englishman, thoroughly educated and cosmopolitan, is your host and he takes you on a kind of journey through selected corners of European philosophy in an attempt to find nuggets of wisdom that will help you overcome your hang ups. There are six episodes.

1. Socrates on Self Confidence.

2. Epicurus on Happiness.

3. Seneca on Anger.

4. Montaigne on Self Esteem.

5. Schopenhauer on Love.

6. Nietzsche on Hardship.

De Botton takes us on a tour of places where these light thinkers lived and shows us around, but it's not a survey course in the history of philosophy. De Botton is interested in finding out if these people had anything to say to us, miserable wretches that we are. Never mind metaphysics -- what do I do NOW, Ma?

Does it work? Is there anything still useful in their output? Maybe. I suppose it depends on the individual and, of course, to some extent on what the philosophers actually had to say about issues of current concern. Some certainly work better than others. I'll give an example of one that seems to work and one that doesn't.

One that may sometimes work: Nietzsche's message to today's viewers can be summarized in the phrase, "Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger." In other words, how to overcome hardship? Get used to it. Well, it evidently worked for G. Gordon Liddy, who was fond of using the quote, but psychologists have come up with mixed results. (Full disclosure: I am a psychologist.) A difficult and humiliating initiation rite leads to greater solidarity in the group, which is generally good, although it depends on the group's goal. That's why, "Once a Marine, always a Marine." Nobody ever says, "Once a Coast Guardsman, always a Coast Guardsman." On the other hand, combat may not kill you but it may induce post-traumatic stress disorder, which is very real, take my word for it. The treatment, stress, can be worse than the disease of weakness.

Okay, one that did work, for me at least -- Seneca on anger. Why do we get angry? Because we expect too much, that's why. Lower your expectations and you won't be disappointed and therefore you won't be angry. The scientific literature generally supports this, although people with low expectations usually have all sorts of associated problems that extend way beyond just getting angry. I tried it myself, with the stock market. Each morning before logging into my account, I make an estimate of how much I've lost or how little I've gained. I always try to be very conservative. And actually it appears to have helped, at least in this limited area. Anger was never a problem but I find I'm less often disappointed and more often cheered when I check my balances. I'm tempted to see just how far this governance of attitude can be taken. Maybe I should just assume that the very act of my purchasing a stock is the kiss of death. Then, no matter how much I lose, as long as the company doesn't go bankrupt, my expectations are more than met. How about if I assume that when I wake up tomorrow I'll find that I died during the night? How can you lose?

My advice is to check this out. Nothing much is going to help you if you have a clinical-level illness, but if you're subject to everyday hassles and find them more annoying than they should be, a constant irritation, why not try it? These guys should know. Socrates had an abundance of self esteem. He lectured his executioners from his death bed.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page