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Alain de Botton: A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success by Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton: A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success

by Alain de Botton


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Audio Original
Running Time
17 Min.
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In this talk at TEDGlobal philosopher Alain de Botton looks at the contemporary notion of success and why he feels it is such a source of anxiety for so many people. He finds that in today's world the appearance of equality, such as Bill Gates dressing just like everybody else, makes most people feel they too can be rich & successful. He also relates contemporary success to the meritocracy that exists today when people are made to feel that they own their successes and failures. And he looks at how failure is treated today by referencing the tabloids that often portray failures without any empathy, whereas in past societies tragedy was often used to encourage empathy of people that might've failed at something. Ultimately Alain de Botton encourages you to try to not live according to the models of success around you, but to instead make success your own! An excellent TED talk available on streaming video and MP3 download.


Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure -- and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

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