Alain de Botton

Philosopher and international bestselling author of Religion for Atheists

Alain de Botton’s TED Talk: “A kinder, gentler philosophy of success”
  • About Alain de Botton

    Alain de Botton is a renowned philosopher whose novels and nonfiction works are both revelatory and entertaining. They have been described as “philosophy for everyday life.” His bestselling works focus on the common and little-questioned facts of our lives: love, relationships, travel, status, and our surroundings. De Botton’s latest book, The News: A User’s Manual, is a thought-provoking look at the manic and peculiar position that news has achieved in our lives. His first nonfiction book, How Proust Can Change Your Life, was an international bestseller and a self-help book in the deepest sense of the term (New York Times). His books Status Anxiety and The Consolations of Philosophy have been adapted as documentaries to air on PBS. He narrates and appears in these programs.

    In February 2003, de Botton was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, one of France’s highest artistic honors. In November of the same year, he was awarded the Prix Européen de l’Essai Charles Veillon. In 2004, Status Anxiety was awarded the prize for the Economics Book of the Year by the Financial Times, Germany.

    Born in Switzerland, Alain de Botton now lives in London where he founded The School of Life and Living Architecture. He is a frequent contributor to numerous newspapers, journals, and magazines and lectures frequently.

  • Speaking Topics

    A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success

    Based on a legendary TED talk (downloaded one million times), Alain de Botton discusses our ideas of success in the modern world, and argues that we are all perhaps both more and less successful than we tend to think. An entertaining, wise, and witty tour around the pressure to be "a success."

    The Modern World of Work

    Drawing on his acclaimed book, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Alain de Botton considers what makes the modern workplace so challenging, how we strive to find meaning in what we do, and why colleagues can be both infuriating and hugely important. Mixing history, psychology, and philosophy, this is a talk to console and inspire.

    The Consolations of Philosophy

    Philosophy is often seen as a dry and obscure subject, but in this talk, Alain de Botton shows how the great philosophers remain important guides to our contemporary lives. Taking in great names from Socrates to Nietzsche, this talk will inform as well as heal. Based on the bestselling book The Consolations of Philosophy.

  • Video

  • Praise for Alain de Botton

    It was a marvelous night and [Alain] was a wonderful and engaging speaker and dinner partner. The only drawback was that he was here for so short a time…. We’ve never had such a friendly warm, engaging speaker and he got rave reviews from all. And many remarked on his impressive intellect. Others thought he was just great.

    Sidney Isenberg Lecture Series, Atlanta, GA

    Praise for The News

    de Botton examines excerpts of contemporary news, mixing them with philosophical observations about the impact the news has on us, why we rely on it so heavily, and how it impacts the way in which we see the world.

    Huffington Post
  • Books by Alain de Botton

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