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Plato, Not Prozac!: Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems Paperback – Aug 1 2000

3.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New edition edition (Aug. 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060931361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060931360
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #201,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

If one is to believe this New Age self-help book, the answers to most of life's problems can be found by applying lessons learned from the classic philosophers. Marinoff advocates "philosophical counseling" as an improvement over what he considers the psychiatric industry's tendency to medicate their patients for any mental malady, major or minor. By following his "PEACE" process (problem, emotion, analysis, contemplation, and equilibrium), we can deal rationally with matters of the heart, business, family discourse, even face our mortality. Each chapter is sprinkled with aphorisms from such revered philosophers as Sartre, Lao Tzu, Machiavelli, and, of course, Plato. The book includes a primer on some of history's most critical thinkers as well as a directory of organizations and practitioners of philosophical counseling. Would the world be better off if we took the time to analyze our problems as thoughtfully as Marinoff suggests? No doubt. Whether readers accept his theories is the bigger question. Ron Kaplan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Plato, Not Prozac! looks to become the bible of the 'philosophical counseling' movement." -- --Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine

"Philosophy [to Marinoff] is the Lava bar of intellect -- meant to be used every day, down to the nub." -- --San Francisco Examiner

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Yes, Dr. Marinoff is right. Too much Prozac is being dispensed and too little philosophy is being discussed. Especially in this information-aged pluralistic culture, some elevation from the emotional diatribes of tedious talking heads, pompous pundits and TV demagogues is most overdo. In theory this democratization of culture is supposed to allow philosophic dialogue and synthesis of thought. Instead, electronic and water cooler sound bites convince us that if we do not have a perpetually adolescent sense of hedonistic joy, fragrant armpits, smooth skin and the universal sex appeal of Adonis we are in need of pharmacological rescue. So What? Well I'll tell you what: We are pathologizing and medicalizing what has historically and correctly been treated as philosophical challenges and the normal vicissitudes of life that, once embraced and overcome, result in character development, open mindedness and , dare we say it, wisdom. If all you get out of this book is that insight believe me you've spent your $10.00 well. (What's $10? ...the cost of a cheap lunch?!)Ok skip it, eat your $10 fast food burritos, pop a Prozac or six pack and turn on The Simpsons. The life of an intellectual slave is at least seemingly less challenging, (that is until you run out of Prozac!)
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Format: Hardcover
This book promotes a truly alternative way of professionally dealing with improving the human condition. Most of what a reader finds in the self-help section is psychologically-based. This book distinguishes itself entirely from the psychiatry/psychology industry.
The author has the courage to observe that psychiatry and its cousin sciences (psychology, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis) ARE NOT SCIENCES. Any real scientist knows better. People who are strict disciples of psychology may object to this book simply because it observes psychology's failures to improve the human condition.
The book is a refreshing alternative to the usual "man is an animal" approach to helping human beings. I honestly haven't seen anything like this in a long time. Accolades for the book and its author.
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Format: Hardcover
I just left an eleven year teaching career to make a life change. I am now the library director for a small town making about a third of what I made as a teacher. I did it because I could no longer reconcile my personal philosophy and beliefs with that of the trends in public education today and the current attitudes of parents. This book was an amazing affirmation of my decision. It was neat to read the philosophies of the masters and know I was following like ideas as well as my heart. I spent years on and off examining my sanity, trying the new drugs, etc all in trying to make myself 'fit' into my career. Luckily I got out and into a rewarding line of work. I think anyone reading Lou's book will find it incredibly readible and something to relate to. It's nice to read a work that affirms life and makes you feel as though you do have control over your life and you don't need a shrink to do it. I highly recommend this work to anyone who has an interest in things of the soul and is a seeker of the lessons of life from the viewpoint of the great philosophers!
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Format: Paperback
What a treat! The book has so much to offer! First off, my favorite part above all: the synopsis of all the major philosophies! Now you can make polite cocktail party conversation and not know all about the Existentialists or all those other philosophical depths. Second, it shows how many different people have solved their life problems by applying philosophical solutions. Personlly, I've always felt that this was far superior than just treating the symptoms of angst with drugs. Third, it provides a valuable resource section for both individual and joint/group philosophical exploration. Plus, it's easy reading! I wasn't bored ONCE, and that's a big accomplishment for a philosophy book!
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Format: Paperback
What a fantastic book! I just wish that it had existed when I was much younger- it would have saved me a great deal of time on my own personal journey.
I always thought that intelligent, truly educated, individuals naturally applied the great wisdom teachings to their daily lives. I mean, that is why we are here isn't it? We truly come to obtain wisdom through philosophy (the love of wisdom) by applying it in the struggle of earthly life. I didn't realize that this had come to be rare and exceptional in the modern world. There is even a name for it now- philosophical practice. What a marvelous concept- students of philosophy helping each other to apply the lessons of the perennial teachings in their daily lives. Of course you can do it alone, as I did, but the author points out that it is nice to have a knowledgeable second party to make sure that you didn't miss something- and that you are truly applying reason and not rationalization.
The use of case studies for specific problem areas is quite informative: seeking a relationship, maintaining a relationship, ending a relationship, family life and strife, work, midlife crisis, the reason for morals and ethics, finding meaning and purpose, and gaining from loss.
The way that individual philosophers and their ideas are introduced is quite well done (theme, refrain, greatest hits, and a thumbnail abstract of their core ideas.) The basics of their systems are outlined nicely, which helps in deciding which to pursue later. I was amazed that so many of the great thinkers that that I had painstakingly discovered over the years were included.
If you would like to delve a little deeper into the various philosophers without tackling the source works I recommend _Basic Teachings of the Great Philosophers_ by S.E. Frost.
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