Cats are the vessels for John Gray’s austere worldview in his new book, “Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life.” The title may make it sound like a stocking filler, unexpected from a philosopher best known for his contrarian politics and skepticism about human progress. “Apocalypse Meow” might have been more in character. But it’s not as cute as it first appears.
Gray proceeds from the uncuddly premise that life is a bleak struggle from which, through philosophy, we seek diversion. Many of the thinkers he surveys, from Lao Tzu and Aristotle to Montaigne and Spinoza, have tried to philosophize their way to tranquility, but no one has quite succeeded. Despite the great minds wrestling with it, the vexed question of how to live continues to induce a state of indissoluble anxiety.
For the review in full, visit The Washington Post.