Eric Weiner is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, and speaker. His new book is called The Socrates Express.
On the Gist, the pursuit of power through SCOTUS.In the interview, Mike talks with radio presenter and author, Eric Weiner about his latest book The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers. In it, Weiner opines on the philosophical giants from a place that offers one of the more pleasant environments to philosophize - the railroad. In this travelogue, Weiner discusses their life-enhancing poetry, and explains how their lives were in fact just like ours, except they had more time to think and write than binge on Netflix. In the spiel, the politicking around Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Studying philosophy can be a metaphorical journey into wisdom. My guest today experienced it as not only that, but as a very literal journey as well.His name is Eric Weiner and he traveled thousands of miles around the world to visit the haunts of numerous philosophers as he sought to better understand their insights and how he might apply them to his own life. He wrote about this philosophic pilgrimage in The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons From Dead Philosophers. Eric and I begin our conversation with why he chose to take all his trips by train, and why rail travel is particularly conducive to thoughtful reflection. We then turn to the physical and philosophical stops he made on his journey, including why Marcus Aurelius wrote so much about getting out of bed and what ultimately motivated the emperor to start each day; what Thoreau can teach us about seeing; why Gandhi was very interested in the idea of manliness; how Nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence can change the way we live our daily lives; and the lesson Simone de Beauvoir offers us on aging well. We end our conversation with Montaigne's insight on how to get comfortable with death. Get the show notes at for privacy information.
Fears about COVID-19 can take an emotional toll, leading to a growing sense of worry and panic. We ask: How can philosophy help us cope with adversity in a pandemic?We go in pursuit of wisdom and discovery with journalist and author Eric Weiner, author of the new book, "The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons From Dead Philosophers". This episode is a rollicking ride, as we follow in the footsteps of history’s greatest thinkers—from Epicurus to Nietzsche, Thoreau to Gandhi— who show us practical and spiritual lessons for today’s unsettled times.Philosophy helps us as we struggle with disturbing questions raised by coronavirus. How to find a level of calm and certainty in an uncertain age? How do we endure tough times? There are no easy answers, but as with religious texts, philosophy helps us ask better questions. "We often confuse knowledge and wisdom, and we think that what we need to get out of this mess is more information," Erik tells us. "More information, we think, is always better. And that's clearly not the case."The age-old lesson from philosophy, says Erik, is that you can "put down your iPhone and close your laptop and stop acquiring more bits of data"Recommendation: Richard enjoys "Tiny Vampires," a podcast series about about disease, science and blood sucking insects.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
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