The writer explains how Candide gave birth to Richard Dawkins, and why Alain de Botton is more novelist than philosopher
The philosophical novel is the continuation of philosophical reflection by other means. To do justice to the nature of ontological concepts, Plato required a mythological approach in order to illuminate the distinction between essences and existence, which resisted conceptualisation. To do justice to the totality of human experience, existentialism denied objectifying knowledge. Justice was eminently done in some cases, their place in history of philosophical ideas assured and their literary merit lauded. Others failed to hit their desired target but were nonetheless notable for daring to articulate the philosophical idea in this form, and being popularly successful, if not philosophically original.
Read the full story at The Guardian.