Critical Success for The Philosopher and the Wolf
6th January 2009
Centre Founding Fellow, Professor Mark Rowlands, has achieved critical success for his new book The Philosopher and the Wolf, published by Granta. This largely autobiographical book charts the relationship between a rootless and restless philosopher (Mark Rowlands), and Brenin, his extraordinarily well-travelled wolf. Brenin went everywhere with Rowlands, even to his philosophy lectures, where he lay in the corner of the lecture hall and dozed. Far more than just an exotic pet, Brenin exerted an immense influence on Rowlands, both as a person and, strangely enough, as a philosopher. He led Rowlands to re-evaluate his attitude to love, happiness, morality, nature and death. By turns funny, poignant, profound, and strange – and always strikingly original – The Philosopher and the Wolf examines the fundamental questions of existence – and is bound to help fuel a wider debate about the nature and intelligence of animals and how we treat them.
The book has received a range of star reviews, including:
‘The Philosopher and the Wolf is a powerfully subversive critique of the unexamined assumptions that shape the way most philosophers – along with most people – think about animals and themselves. John Gray, Literary Review
‘…. This year’s most original and instructive work of popular philosophy … remarkable portrait of the bond that can exist between a human being and a beast … [Rowlands is] a rare contemporary philosopher who is able to learn from everything he experiences in life, not just books and academic journals. This is what makes The Philosopher and the Wolf so refreshing. There is no shortage of writers trying to persuade us that philosophy can help illuminate life, but they rarely show us how life illuminates philosophy.’ Julian Baggini, Financial Times
‘It is truly one of the great texts in modern English; certainly of the last half century … The Philosopher and the Wolf is … a masterful work that deserves to be seen as a classic that combines the highest and broadest of human achievement and art …’ Dan Schneider, www.blogcritics.com