Breakfast with Socrates would be a cool story but not fun


Philosophy is known for being inaccessible.

It can be full of daunting vocabulary or concepts that are hard to understand.

It\’s also notorious for not being practical — for talking about lofty ideas without applying them to everyday life.

Robert Rowland Smith tries to address this problem with his 2009 book Breakfast with Socrates

In each chapter, Smith philosophically breaks down an everyday occurrence such as waking up, going to work, having lunch with your parents, or arguing with a partner. 

The chapters are short but they seem to drag with the weight of all of the references Smith tries to pack into each one. At times, I forgot what the chapter was even about after getting lost in a web of different names and ideas. 

Along with philosophy, he intersperses references to psychology, religion, music, art, film, and literature, which most of the time,  confused me more. 

I think if Smith narrowed it down to only one or two references per chapter, the book would flow much better and be more understandable. 

I assume that this book is intended for people who are just beginning to learn about philosophy too, which is why I think all of the jargon is unnecessary. If you are one of these curious people, I highly recommend The Allegory of the Cave by Plato or The Stranger by Albert Camus instead.

(Finished 8/29/19) 

Similar Posts