Feline Philosophy, a slim book with a cute cover picture, might appear to be a bit of light amusement for cat lovers: a collection of quotes from great thinkers about their furry companions, perhaps. It is not. John Gray has written a short but serious polemic attacking much of the Western tradition of moral thought. It’s worth a read even if — perhaps especially if — you hate cats.

Gray joins an honourable tradition of philosophers who are, paradoxically, suspicious of philosophical thought. They consider philosophy a symptom of a mental disorder, or even to be the disorder itself. The best philosophy, then, is one that cures itself, leaving nothing to philosophise about and the world appearing exactly as it did before the philosophical illness took hold. In Wittgenstein’s famous phrase, philosophy is a ladder we throw away once we’ve climbed it...

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