What it Means to be Human: A philosophical memoir

Robert Smith

What is the role of fate in our lives?

Why should we avoid repeating patterns?

And how can we identify our purpose?

In What It Means To Be Human, former Oxford don Robert Rowland Smith draws on his personal experience to answer some of life’s most fundamental questions. Robert’s story involves a love triangle, office politics, police raids and a near-death experience. We see him confronting his demons, but also looking out for angels.

As we are led into Robert’s private world– exploring themes like love, death, work and creativity – we gain an understanding of what it means to be human that is relevant to all.

Previously published as AutoBioPhilosophy.

Reviews of What it Means to be Human: A philosophical memoir

    • Praise for Driving with Plato:
    • ‘This is a fascinating and deeply impressive book’ Daily Mail
    • ‘Smith has the suave wit of the professional intellectual’ Financial Times
    • ‘I’ll never drive the same way again. Or have a midlife crisis the same way again, for that matter. This book is elegant proof that philosophy doesn’t have to be fusty and musty’ A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
    • ‘A friendly guide to the meaning of life’s milestones’ Guardian
    • ‘I am often asked to recommend a good introduction to philosophy – now I’ve discovered one … Smith’s work is witty, inventive and intelligent’ THES
    • ‘Roland Smith is a gifted communicator and each chapter is perfectly balanced, and several times my mind was asking ‘yes, but what about…?’ only to have Roland Smith anticipate this and provide answers in the very next paragraph’ Bookbag
    • Praise for Breakfast with Socrates:
    • ‘Philosophy made accessible … manages to be funny without underestimating the reader’ Financial Times
    • ‘This charming book wears its erudition with ease’ Publishers Weekly
    • ‘Smith has written a remarkable book, which goes through the seemingly mundane events of a day – waking up, having a bath, commuting, reading a book, and so on – and explores them with a philosophical eye to see what insights might be gleaned … joyously wise’ Church Times
    • ‘A very thoughtful and continuously entertaining picture of human behaviour … a filling mental meal that should leave you delightfully satisfied’ Wired