About the Show
Written and presented by Alain de Botton, this series is an entertaining, practical and psychobabble-free self-help course for the philosophically minded
Series 1 Summary
Alain De Botton believes that the great thinkers' works are full of practical advice on happiness. In each episode, he applies one key philosophical figure's teachings to a common emotional problem.
Episode 1 - Seneca on Anger
Seneca believed anger flowed from our surprise when things don't turn out how we expect. Can Seneca's advice help angry van driver Wayne and stressed executive Venetia?
Episode 2 - Schopenhauer on Love
German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer believed that love was the most important thing in life. His philosophy explains the mystery of why we fall in love with the people we do.
Episode 3 - Epicurus on Happiness
Alain De Botton considers how the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus believed there were just three simple things we needed in order to be happy, and money wasn't one of them
Episode 4 - Montaigne on Self-Esteem
Why do so many people suffer from feelings of low self-esteem? Alain De Botton looks at the problem through the eyes of the French 16th-century philosopher Michel de Montaigne.
Episode 5 - Socrates on Self-Confidence
Alain demonstrates that ancient Athenian philosopher Socrates can help give us all the intellectual self-confidence we need to work out what we really think and believe
Episode 6 - Nietzsche on Hardship
Friedrich Nietzsche believed that any worthwhile achievements in life come from the experience of overcoming hardship, and that a comfortable, painless existence wouldn't be worth living