AutoBioPhilosophy is an astonishingly frank and original autobiography that explores the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Robert Rowland Smith’s life story involves a love triangle, office politics, police raids, illegal drugs, the academic elite and a near-death experience. It sees him grappling with the tragic fate of his father, going through a double divorce and encountering a living divinity. We witness him confronting his demons but also looking out for angels.
A former Oxford don, Robert uses these deeply personal experiences to generate philosophical insights that will resonate with everybody. What are the recurring patterns, unconscious motives and social forces that govern our behaviour? Through his experiences, and referencing writers from Shakespeare to Freud, he offers new models and ways into human psychology.
As we are led into Robert’s private world, we gain an understanding of what it means to be human that is relevant to all.
"Smith has the suave wit of the professional intellectual." (Financial Times)
"I'll never drive the same way again. Or have a midlife crisis the same way again, for that matter. This book is elegant proof that philosophy doesn't have to be fusty and musty." (A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically)
Praise for Driving with Plato: "This is a fascinating and deeply impressive book." (Daily Mail)
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- Damian Roberts
A thinking person's biography
I almost gave this a miss because of the title. I'm glad I didn't. This is a great biography and a unique and accomplished piece of writing. I loved it.
As well as sharing his own fascinating journey through the first fifty or so years of his life, the author draws on psychology and philosophy to weave in deep reflections on what it is to be human.
It works because Robert Rowland Smith clearly knows his craft and his life provides rich material to explore the fundamental passions, obsessions, fears, irrationalities and flaws that shape the course of our lives and determine who we really are.
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