‘A book of tremendous originality: funny, clever and hugely beguiling’ – William Boyd
‘Intellectually rigorous … fun and charming’ – Alain de Botton, Observer
‘Entertaining and ingenious’ – Jonathan Derbyshire, Financial Times
‘A playful exploration of philosophical ideas’ – Mail on Sunday
‘A nimble, witty introduction to the basic tenets of philosophy’ – Guardian
Ben Warner is dizzy with boredom, working for the summer at Cod Almighty, his local fish and chip shop, when a sexy young woman called Lila arrives with a bizarre invitation. Ben is tempted, but suspicious. And with good reason. Lila wants him to visit her in the World of Ideas – a place he’s never heard of – and, though Ben doesn’t yet know it, Lila has been dead for thirty years.
Lila has a mission. Her boss, Socrates (President of the World of Ideas) has made a bet with his arch-rival Wittgenstein. To win the bet (and keep their jobs) he and Lila must prove to Ben that philosophy can change his life for the better.
As Ben finds his way into this dreamlike sector of the afterlife with its disconcerting worlds-within-worlds, he has no idea that he’s the subject of a bet. And so begins a mind-bending guided tour around the big, and small, questions in life. Does time slow down when your heart beats faster? When is orange not orange? Do we have free will? Little by little, Ben starts to ask his own questions and to believe that – apart from football – the unexamined life is really not worth living.
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If Minds Had Toes has been translated into thirteen languages, with titles such as ‘If Minds Could Fly’, ‘The Philosophers’ Cabinet’ and ‘The Day That Socrates Wore Jeans’.
Learn more about the foreign editions of the book.