School of life online dating
School of life online dating
Then he does something about the information he's gained, which distinguishes him from just about every other philosophical writer. In 2008, de Botton helped set up an establishment in a shop near London's King's Cross that he called The School of Life.
"But one night, returning from one such conference in Bristol, I had a dark moment of the soul.
"I start my books with a big simple question, like: 'What is beauty? ' Then I suffer for three years." In 2013, he wrote Religion for Atheists, which set out to "explore the possible uses a religion might have for an unbeliever" like himself. Incidentally, he is not bothered what kind of funeral he has, he says.
In it he talked about how, instead of questions about what you do, or where your children go to school, we should ask questions that might give a more sincere revelation about a person. "But I'd love my children to be there." Religion for Atheists is a melancholy, revealing book, which partly stems - as so much of his work does - from his father, a self-made, extremely wealthy Swiss banker who left most of his money in a foundation, which de Botton has opted not to use.
It now has 10 branches round the world, and some sources say it's actually beginning to make a profit.
"What we set out to do is to give people tools to better understand themselves and make them more effective in two areas in particular: relationships and with work," says de Botton.
De Botton, 45, looked at how we travel by once spending a week hanging out at London's Heathrow Airport (and writing a book about it).
He has studied how we look at art, how we think about sex, how anxious we are about status, what and how we use what we learned at school, how we can be changed by what we read (especially if it's Proust) and what kinds of spaces we choose to live in.
He was a secular Jew, an atheist who "placed religious belief somewhere on a par with an attachment to Santa Claus", de Botton says.
"I recall my father reducing my sister to tears in an attempt to dislodge her modestly held notion that a reclusive god might dwell somewhere in the universe.
De Botton has written more than 20 of them, mostly with quirky, surprising titles such as The News: A User's Manual and The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.
But even after all those, writing is still a painful process, bringing sorrow as well as pleasure. The key thing to focus on is trying to answer the question that's at the heart of a book," he says. His own answers are, in order: Not being focused early enough on what I really wanted to do; No one, everyone can be forgiven; Dying in the coming years, before my children are over 25.
Subjects such as (and this is from the current curriculum) the risks and rewards of friendship, how to manage stress, how to be confident, and even the increasingly relevant "how to get better at online dating".