Mel Thompson

Philosophers Behaving Badly

coverThe life of reason does not necessarily lead to a reasonable life!

A cautionary note...

The authors wish to assure the reader that they have used their best endeavours to be scrupulously and equally unfair to all the philosophers included and highly selective in the material that they have sought to examine. Neither should the fact that a philosopher has not been mentioned in this volume to taken to imply that he or she may be considered to be of good character.

From the reviews...

‘Excellent. The premise is simple, though I am not aware of it having been done before, or at least not so well. The authors do not give us an introduction to philosophy so much as an introduction to philosophers. Their main aim is to show us what they were like as people… Any student or beginner reading this book will want to know more about these extraordinary men.’  Times Higher Educational Supplement.

‘A marvellous little book… brilliantly attests to the fact that “a life of reason does not necessarily lead to a reasonable life”.’ Philosophy Now

‘Fascinating and revealing . . . Rodgers and Thompson are to be congratulated for taking an unholy slant on a holy subject.. should certainly be on any university reading list.’  Birmingham Post

‘Deeply entertaining… bathing in elevated Schadenfreude.’ The Catholic Herald

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Now published in German, Spanish, Finnish, Turkish, Persian and Chinese!

mugPlease don't be put off by the humour of the title!

This book is not some cynical attempt to undermine great philosophers. It seeks to give a general introductiont to their thought, but sets it against their life.

None were conventional, all displayed human weaknesses, but we show that their thinking developed in response to their lives, and that its value transcends the circumstances within which it was produced.

GolzarCelebrity endorsement of Persian translation of 'Philosophers Behaving Badly'!

The Iranian filmstar and TV host Mohammad Reza Golzar has recommended the Persian translation of Philosophers Behaving Badly on the TV show Barandeh Bash.

Is this the image of a 'Philosophers Behaving Badly' reader?

PBBEhsanAll credit for the Persian edition must go to Ehsan Shahghasemi, Assistant Professor, Department of Communications, at the University of Tehran, who has translated and promoted the book in Iran. Congratulations, Ehsan!


And here's the show - Barandeh Bash, which means 'Be a winner'. Let's hope Philosophers Behaving Badly is a winner in Iran!

240 pages


Peter Owen Publishers

ISBN: 0 7206 1219 5


This book has been co-authored with Nigel Rodgers. To see more of Nigel's work, click here.

This book provides a general introduction to the work of following thinkers, as well as delving into their private lives:

Rousseau  - The Philosopher as Victim

Schopenhaur - The Rebarbative Bodhisattva

Nietzsche - A Sickly Ubermensch

Russell - The Mathematics of Human Behaviour

Wittgenstein - Angst and Asceticism

Heidegger - Magician, Predator, Peasant and Nazi

Sartre - Intellectual Tyranny, Charm and Bad Faith

Foucault - Madness, Sex and Punishment

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Also available in Chinese...


or Spanish!