I’m a writer, Speaker and Gonzo philosopher, interested in ideas and practices which help beings suffer less and flourish more.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My first book, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, explored how people are rediscovering ancient Greek and Roman philosophies and how Greek philosophy (partiularly Stoicism) inspired Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It’s since been published in 19 countries and was a Times book of the year. My second book, The Art of Losing Control, explored how people find ecstatic experiences in modern western culture. It was published in the UK in May 2017, and in the US in September 2017, and has also been published in Holland, Spain, Russia and Italy.
My research on philosophy clubs has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. I’m also involved in the Modern Stoicism and Stoic Week project , which has received press coverage everywhere from Newsweek to the New York Times, and has helped to instigate the revival of Stoic philosophy in modern culture. I co-organized the first Stoicon, in San Diego 2010, and two subsequent Stoicons in London. I also contributed to the Stoicism Today essay collections.
I am now a research fellow at a Wellcome Trust-funded project called Living with Feeling, at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary University of London. I am researching the history, philosophy and psychology of well-being, and how different cultures define and seek human flourishing. I wrote this report for the World Health Organisation on cultures of well-being.
One of my projects is researching spiritual emergencies (moments of spiritual awakening which involve temporary psychosis), and I’m co-editing a book on that, to be published by Aeon in autumn 2019. I’m also researching the life and work of Aldous Huxley, and his vision for integrated education.
Work with organisations
I teach workshops and give key-notes on emotions, well-being, transcendence and flourishing, which combine ideas from wisdom traditions with insights from modern psychotherapy. Partners include Arsenal FC , Saracens rugby club, the Civil Service, HMP Low Moss, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, Netflix and Mind. Companies and organisations can contact me to arrange talks and workshops. I give talks on two main topics: firstly, how Stoicism inspired CBT and is used by leaders and teams to improve resilience and integrity. And secondly, why self-transcendence is a basic human urge which can help people and organisations flourish.
I have talked about philosophy on BBC 2’s Newsnight, the Culture Show, on BBC Radio 3 and 4, RTE-1 and ABC Australia; and am a BBC New Generation Thinker. I’ve written for publications including the Financial Times, The Times, the Guardian, the Spectator and WIRED. I’ve spoken at events including the Month of Philosophy in Amsterdam, the Hay-On-Wye festival, the Galway Arts Festival,, Latitude, Burning Man, Wilderness, Bestival, the School of Life, the Sunday Assembly, the British Museum and the RSA.
For the last decade I’ve helped to run the London Philosophy Club, which has grown to become the biggest philosophy club in the world, with over 10,000 members (as of April 2019).
Click here to visit my YouTube channel, which features videos of many of my talks and interviews.
Click here to watch my TEDX talk, ‘How philosophy saved my life’.
Click here to listen to a Radio 4 programme I made on Aristotle’s idea of flourishing and how it influences modern politics.
Click here to listen to the Radio 4 series, My Life As A Philosopher, which I co-wrote and co-presented.