Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton , FRSL ( / d ə b ɒ t ən / ; born 20 January 1969) is a Swiss-born, British author. His books Discuss verschillende contemporary subjects and themes, emphasizing philosophy’s relevance to everyday life. He published essays in Love (1993), welke went on to sell two million copies. Other bestsellers include How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997), Status Anxiety (2004) and The Architecture of Happiness (2006).

He co-founded the School of Life in 2008 and Living Architecture in 2009. In 2015, he was Awarded “The Fellowship of Schopenhauer”, an annual writers award from the Melbourne Writers Festival, for this work.

Early life and family

He was born in Zurich , the sun or Jacqueline (nee Burgauer) and Gilbert de Botton , who was born in Alexandria, Egypt and EXPELLED ( Along with the rest of the Jewish community ) under Nasser . Gilbert went to live and work in Switzerland, where he co-founded an investment firm, Global Asset Management ; his family was Estimated to port leg worth £ 234 million in 1999. [1] The Botton’s Swiss-born mother was Ashkenazi , and his Father was from a Sephardic Jewish family from the town of Boton [ clarification needed ] in Castile and Leon .

The Botton’s ancestors include Abraham de Boton . [2] The Botton’s paternal grandmother was Yolande Harmer . [3] He has one sister, Miel , and they ‘RECEIVED a Secular upbringing . [4] Alain spent the first twelve years of his life in Switzerland where he was brought` up speaking French and German.


He was cents to the Dragon School , a boarding school in Oxford , where English became his primary language. Describing himself as a shy child, he boarded at Harrow School voordat going up to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge , where he read History (1988-1991) and subsequently COMPLETED a master’s degree (MPhil) in Philosophy at King’s College London (1991 -1992). [5] He Began Studying for a PhD in French philosophy at Harvard University , [6] but gave up this research to write books for the general public. [7]



In his first novel, Essays in Love (Titled On Love in the US), published in 1993, de Botton deals with the process of falling in and out of love. In 2010, Essays in Love was Adapted to film with director Julian Kemp for the romantic comedy My Last Five Girlfriends . [8] The Botton wrote a sequel to Essays in Love , published in 2016, Titled The Course of Love .


In 1997 he published his first nonfiction book, How Proust Can Change Your Life , based on the life and works of Marcel Proust . [9] It was a bestseller in zowel the US and UK. [10]

This was Followed by The Consolations of Philosophy in 2000. The title of the book is a reference to Boethius ‘s Consolation of Philosophy , in welke philosophy Appears as an allegorical figure to Boethius to console im in the period leading up to his impending execution. In The Consolations of Philosophy , de Botton attempts to demo streets how the teachings of Philosophers zoals Epicurus , Montaigne , Nietzsche , Schopenhauer , Seneca , and Socrates kan be toegepast to modern everyday frantic. The book has leg zowel praised and criticized voor zijn therapeutic approach to philosophy.

In The Architecture of Happiness [11] (2006), he discusses the nature of beauty in architecture and how it is related to the well-being and general contentment of the individual and society. He describes how architectures Affects people everytime day, though people rarely pay attention to it mn. A good portion-of the book discusses how human personality traits are reflected in architecture. He ends up Defending Modernist architecture , and chastising the pseudo-vernacular architecture of housing, met name in the UK. “The best modern architectures,” he argues, “does not hold a mirror up to nature, though it ‘may borrow a pleasing shape or expressive line from nature’s copybook. It gives voice to aspirations and suggests possibilities. The question is not Whether you’d actually like to live in a Le Corbusier home, but whether you’d like to be the child or person who’d like to live in one. ” [ Citation needed ]

In The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (2009), [12] de Botton produktie a survey or at différent jobs, zoals accountancy, rocket science and biscuit Manufacture. The book, a piece of narrative nonfiction, of includes two hundred original images and Aims to unlock the beauty, interest and Occasional horror of the modern world of work. After a negative review of the book by New York Times critic Caleb Crain , de Botton posted a scathing ad hominem attack Against Crain. [13] He later apologized for his remarks. [14]

In August 2009, de Botton replied to a competition advertised onder British literary agents at BAA , the airport management company, for the post, “writer-in-residence” at Heathrow Airport . The post involved being seated at a desk in Terminal 5, and writing about the comings and goings or PASSENGERS on a week. The Botton was duly appointed to the position. The result was the book, A Week at the Airport , published by Profile Books in September 2009. The book features photographs by the documentary photographer Richard Baker, with Whom de Botton ook worked on The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work . [15]

In January 2012, de Botton published Religion for Atheists , about the benefits of religions For those who do not believe in them. The Botton put it: “It’s clear to me dat religions are in the end too complex, interesting and on occasion wise to be abandoned simply to Those who believe in them.” [16] In April 2012, he published How to Think More about Sex , one in a series of six books on topics of emotional life published by his enterprise, The School of Life . [ Clarification needed ]

In October 2013 he published Art as Therapy , co-written with the Australian-Scottish art historian John Armstrong. Art as Therapy argues dat certainement great works of art “sacrifice CLUES on managing the tensions and Confusions of everyday life”. [17]

In February 2014, de Botton published his FOURTEENTH book, a title called ” The News: A User’s Manual “, a study of the effects of the news on modern mentality, viewed through the prism of 25 news stories, culled from a variety of sources in this housing, de Botton analyzes in detail. The book delved with more rigour JSON de Botton’s analysis of the modern media welke Appeared in Status Anxiety .

Newspapers, lecturing and television

The Botton-used to write articles for verschillende English Newspapers, and from 1998 to 2000, wrote a regular column for The Independent on Sunday . He travels extensively to lecture and has his own production company, Seneca Productions, welke makes television documentaries based upon his works. [18] He has bepaald lectures at TED conferences . In July 2011, have ghosts in Edinburgh about “Atheism 2.0”, an idea or Atheism dat ook incorporates our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence. [19] In July 2009, have ghosts at Oxford University about the philosophy of failure and success, and questions the assumptions underlying synthesis two judgments. [20]

Reception of his writing

The Botton has written in a variety of formats to mixed responses. Positive reviews of his books attest dat he has made literature, philosophy and art more accessible to a wider audience. [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]

Negative reviews allege dat de Botton tends to state the obvious [26] [27] and port characterized some of his books as pompous and Lacking focus. [28] [29] [30] [31]

In response to a question about have Whether fact represented “pulled” to be a writer, de Botton Responded:

So I think where people impervious to end up results from a combination of Encouragement, accident, and lucky break, etc. etc. Like many others, my career happened like it did Because certainement doors opened and certainement doors closed. You know, at a certainement point I thought it mention anything be great to make film documentaries. Well, in fact, I found that to be incredibly hard and very expensive to do and I did not really harbor the courage to keep battling away at that. In Another age, I Might port leg an academic in a university, if the university system had leg différent. So it’s all about Trying to find the best fit tussen your talents and what the world kan offering at dat point in time. [32]

Other projects

The School of Life

In 2008, Alain de Botton founded The School of Life . Based in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Seoul, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Zurich and Melbourne, The School of Life offers an emotional education focusing mn on the issues of Work and Relationships. In an interview with [33] de Botton zegt:

The idea is to challenge traditional universities and reorganise knowledge, Directing it towards life, and away from knowledge for zijn eigen business. In a modest way, it’s an institution dat is Trying to give people what universities arnt I think always give Them: a sense of direction and wisdom for hun lives with the help of culture. [34]

Living Architecture

In May 2009, de Botton launched an architecture project called ” Living Architecture ” [35] – welke builds holiday rental houses in the UK using leading contemporary architects. These include Peter Zumthor , MVRDV , JVA, NORD and Michael and Patti Hopkins. The most recent house to be announced is a collaboration tussen de Turner prize winning artist Grayson Perry , and the architecture firm FAT . The houses are rented out to the general public. De Botton, the creative director and chairman of Living Architecture, AIMS to verbeteren the appreciation of good contemporary architecture – a task welke is the practical-continuation of his theoretical work on architecture in his book The Architecture of Happiness . In October 2009, he was appointed an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in recognition of his services to architecture. [36]

Museum displays

In 2014, de Botton was Invited to three museums – the National Museum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto – to Contribute content to special exhibitions based on his work, Art as Therapy . The Botton and his Colleague John Armstrong INSERTED captions, Arranged on large Post-it styles labels designed by the Dutch graphic artist, Irma Boom , bearing slogans and commentary on exhibits gehele Rijksmuseum. [37]

Personal life

The Botton has DESCRIBED his relationship with his Father as s difficult, stating: “When I sold my first bestseller (and a million dollars was peanuts for My Father) have been not impressed and wondered what I was going to do with myself.” [38] When his Father mayest, his family was left a large trust fund , [39] hoewel de de Botton says his income is derived solely from his own activities (book sales, speaking engagements, business consulting, The School of Life). [40] [41] [42] Alain’s stepmother Janet de Botton is a prominent patron of the arts and competition bridge player. [43] The Botton lives in London with his wife, Charlotte, and hun two children. [44] [45]

In August 2014, de Botton was one of 200 public figures who ulcers signatories to a letter to The Guardian Opposing Scottish Independence in the run-up to September’s referendum on dat issue . [46]


[ Show ]Ancestors or Alain de Botton


This list is incomplete ; u can help with Expansion it .


  • De Botton, Alain (1993). Essays in Love . London: Macmillan.
    • – (1993). On love . New York: Grove Press. Variant title in USA.
    • – (1994) [1993]. Essays in Love . Paperback reprint. London: Picador.
    • – (2006). Essays in Love . Revised ed. London: Picador.
    • – (2015) [2006]. Essays in Love . Reprint of 2006 revised ed. London: Picador.
  • The Romantic Movement (1994)
  • Kiss and Tell (1995)
  • How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997)
  • The Consolations of Philosophy (2000)
  • The Art of Travel (2002)
  • Status Anxiety (2004)
  • The Architecture of Happiness (2006)
  • The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (2009)
  • A Week at the Airport (2009)
  • Religion for Atheists : A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion (2012)
  • How to Think More About Sex (2012)
  • De Botton, Alain; Armstrong, John (2013). Art as therapy . London: Phaidon Press.
  • The News: A User’s Manual (2014)
  • The Course of Love (2016)

Critical studies, reviews and biography

  • Hamilton, Ben (4 January 2014). “The healing art”. Books. The Spectator . 324 (9671): 23-24. Review of Art as therapy .


  • My Last Five Girlfriends (based on Essays in Love )

TV series

  • Philosophy: A Guide To Happiness (from The Consolations of Philosophy )
  1. Socrates on Self-Confidence
  2. Epicurus on Happiness
  3. Seneca on Anger
  4. Montaigne on Self-Esteem
  5. Schopenhauer on Love
  6. Nietzsche on Hardship (featuring Cathal Grealish)
  • Status Anxiety
  • The Art of Travel
  • The Perfect Home (from The Architecture of Happiness )


In 2011 he Presented a series of talks for the BBC Radio 4 series A Point of View .

  • What Should Teach Humanities : Arguing teachers or humanities in universities port only themselves to blame for cuts in funding.
  • News and Concentration : Examining our inability to concentrate.
  • The Ecological Sublime : A philosopher’s tasks on ecological dilemmas.
  • Are Museums Our New Churches? : Argues dat museums Could learn from Churches met betrekking to getting hun message across.
  • In Praise of the Nanny State : Asks why the idea of a nanny state is so unappealing.
  • On Marriage : muses on why a bookish life is a poor Preparation for marriage.
  • In Praise of the Zoo : muses on the value or exotic animals in giving Recruiters perspective on our own lives.
  • The Art of Conversation : Questions why we put so much effort JSON social encounters but leave conversation to chance.
  • What’s in a Marriage? : Argues dat expecting one person to be a good partner, lover and parent is, almost, Asking the impossible.
  • On Social Climbing : Argues dat social climbing arnt be seen as evidence of a natural curiosity about the modern world.
  • Modern Parenting : Takes a witty look at modern parenting.
  • The Advantages of pessimism : Why pessimism is the key to happiness.
  • A Point of View : podcast


  1. Jump up^ Staff. “Sunday Times Rich List” . . Retrieved 7 February 2014 . 1999 Sunday Times Rich List now behind a paywall
  2. Jump up^ “Gilbert de Botton”,The Telegraph, Obituaries, 30 August 2000.
  3. Jump up^ Ian Black and Benny Morris (2007). Israel’s Secret Wars: A History of Israel’s Intelligence Services . Grove Press. p. 70. ISBN  978-0-8021-3286-4 .
  4. Jump up^ de Botton, Alain (24 December 2011). “An Atheist at Christmas: Oh come all ye faithless” . The Guardian . London.
  5. Jump up^ “King’s College London – Notable alumni” . . Retrieved 2014-08-26 .
  6. Jump up^ New York,Alain de Botton, Volume 35, New York Magazine Co., 2002, page 90[ ISBN missing ]
  7. Jump up^ The Real World: Alain de Botton, philosopher, writer and television presenter,The Independent
  8. Jump up^ “Tribeca Film – MY LAST FIVE Girlfriends” . . New York . Retrieved 1 June 2016 .
  9. Jump up^ “Author of The Art of Travel talks with Robert Birnbaum”,
  10. Jump up^ “Interview with Alain de Botton”,; Accessed 26 February 2014.
  11. Jump up^ “AOL interviews Alain de Botton about The Architecture of Happiness “,
  12. Jump up^ “Official Bio” . Alain de Botton.
  13. Jump up^ Adams, Stephen (1 July 2009). “Alain de Botton tells New York Times reviewer, ‘I will hate you until I the ‘ ‘ . Telegraph . London . Retrieved 1 July 2015 .
  14. Jump up^ Neyfakh, Leon (1 July 2009). “Is Alain de Botton Sorry About Angry Comment Left On Critic’s Blog?” . Observer . London . Retrieved 1 July 2015 .
  15. Jump up^ The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Page 328
  16. Jump up^ The Philosophers Magazine ISSUE # 57 Page 26
  17. Jump up^ “Art as Therapy”,; Accessed 26 February 2014.
  18. Jump up^ The Architecture of Happiness, Official Website
  19. Jump up^,TED Talks | Alain De Botton: Atheism 2.0
  20. Jump up^,TED Talks | Alain de Botton: A child, Gertler philosophy of success; Accessed 26 February 2014.
  21. Jump up^ “The Consolations of Philosophy” . Archived from the original on 16 April 2010 . Retrieved 23 March 2010 . The Botton’s idea or Bringing philosophy to the masses and President ting it in an unthreatening, marble (and showing how it Might Be useful in anyone’s life), is admirable; the way he has gone about it is less so.
  22. Jump up^ “Philosophy for a night out at the Dog and Duck” . London, UK: The Independent. 3 April 2000 . Retrieved 11 July 2009 .
  23. Jump up^ Hamilton, Fiona; Coates, Sam; Savage, Michael (March 2002). “Financial alarm under the palms” . London, UK: Times Literary Supplement . Retrieved 11 July 2009 . All de Botton’s books, fiction and non-fiction, deal with how thought and philosophy specifiek Might help us deal better with the challenges of quotidian life, returning to philosophy zijn simple, sound origins. [ Dead link ]
  24. Jump up^ “Why it is better to travel hopefully dan to arrive” . Evening Standard. May 2002 . Retrieved 11 July 2009 .
  25. Jump up^ Conrad, Peter (9 April 2000). “When Nietzsche meets Delia Smith” . London, UK: . Retrieved 23 March 2010 .
  26. Jump up^ Charlie Brooker (January 2005). “The art of drivel” . London: The Guardian . Retrieved 11 July 2009 . … a pop philosopher who’s forged a lucrative career stating the bleeding obvious in a series or poncey, lighter-than-air books aimed at Smug Sunday Supplement pseuds looking for something smart-looking to read on the plane
  27. Jump up^ “Flaccid fallacies” . London, UK: 25 March 2000. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009 . Retrieved 20 March 2009 . De Botton’s new book consists of obvious, hopeless or contradictory advice culled from great thinkers on how to Overcome certainement problems of existence.
  28. Jump up^ Jim Holt (10 December 2006). “Dream Houses” . New York Times . Retrieved 6 April 2008 . Like de Botton’s previous books, this one contains zijn quotas piffle dressed up in pompous language.
  29. Jump up^ Mark Lamster. “Bring Back the Blue Bird” . Archived from the original on 13 April 2008 . Retrieved 17 April 2009 . … Little of the original thinking That might be pure chance from an outsider … The Architecture of Happiness mention anything be an innocuous castoff if not voor zijn proselytizing Ambitions
  30. Jump up^ Naomi Wolf (March 2009). “The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton” . London: The Times . Retrieved 11 July 2009 . … this book Examining “work” sounds of or in as if it has leg written by someone who never had a job that was not voluntary, or at least pleasant.
  31. Jump up^ Aitkenhead, Decca (3 April 2011). “How can you be a militant Atheist? It’s like sleeping furiously” . London, UK: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011 . Retrieved 3 April 2011 .
  32. Jump up^ Nagy, Kim. “The Art of Connection – A Conversation with Alain de Botton”, Wild River Review , 19 November 2007.
  33. Jump up^
  34. Jump up^ “Alain de Botton: I mention anything advice a friend to travel alone (” .
  35. Jump up^ “Living Architecture” .
  36. Jump up^ “Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture Project” .
  37. Jump up^ Searle, Adrian. “Art is Therapy Review – de Botton as doorstepping self-help Evangelist” . The Guardian . Retrieved 30 May 2014 .
  38. Jump up^ שלומציון קינן, ראיון עם אלן דה בוטון, “הארץ”, 2007
  39. Jump up^ “Janet de Botton and family” . The London Sunday Times. 27 April 2008.
  40. Jump up^ “Philosopher King: Alain de Botton FINDS glamor and drama in the world of work,” Katy Guest, The Independent , 27 March 2009.
  41. Jump up^ “Office affairs”, Lynn Barber,The Guardian, 22 March 2009.
  42. Jump up^ “On The Botton” . The Irish Times . 6 April 2009.
  43. Jump up^ Janet de Botton profile,; Accessed 26 February 2014.
  44. Jump up^ Barber, Lynn (22 March 2009). “Office affairs” . The Guardian . London, UK.
  45. Jump up^ Patalay, Ajesh (16 Dec 2006). “My Life” . Telegraph . Retrieved 16 Dec 2015 .
  46. Jump up^ “Celebrities open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics” . 2014-08-07 . Retrieved 2014-08-26 .