Great Philosophers who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer

Although Philosophy often intimidates me, I have to be honest, and say that I never have taken the Philosophers too seriously. This most likely stems from my Introduction to Philosophy course in college where my professor spoke constantly of driving his Porsche, ended every sentence with “and I have written a paper about that so see me after class if you would like a copy…” and did not appreciate my brilliant final essay that featured a conversation between myself and a Philosopher-like character who frequently declared “and I have written a paper about that so see me after class if you would like a copy.” (He apparently did take Philosophers, and himself, very seriously…)

So I was very excited when I discovered Great Philosophers who Failed at Love by local author, Andrew Shaffer–now whenever a Philosopher evilly asks me about Dualism just to see me squirm, I can just casually lean against a door frame and reply “Nevermind that, so how is your love life?” Because, judging by the love lives of the Philosophers included in Shaffer’s book, they won’t be able to resist changing the subject to their scandalous romantic escapades. Just how saucy are these philosophers? Here are a few examples:

♥ French Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau apparently enjoyed flashing.

♥ Ann Rand dedicated her masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged, to both her husband and her lover…but then had her lover’s name removed when she found out he was cheating on her (with a woman other than his wife).

♥ French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre liked to call himself a “literary Don Juan” and, at the age of 74, remarked to one of his lady friends that he was currently dating nine women (not counting his long-time lover, Sylvie Le Bon and her girlfriend, of course)!


Although all the tawdry details kept me turning the pages, it is Shaffer’s snarky comments that truly make this quick read absolutely delightful. And the text is printed in navy blue which was super neat and lovely to read.

I highly recommend Great Philosophers who Failed at Love as well Shaffer’s multiple other personalities found here:
and here:
and here:
and here:
and a few other places as well.

5 thoughts on “Great Philosophers who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer

  1. Love the story about the Porsche-driving professor. Hilarious comeback. Reminds me of a theater professor I once had who was a little too New Agey for me. He asked us to turn in a daily diary at the end of the semester, and I turned in a blank notebook. “I didn’t learn anything in your stupid class,” I said. He gave me an A.

  2. Why do I not remember your porsche-driving professor?? I feel like this is something I should remember!
    My mistake in college (or at least ONE of my mistakes) was not taking Intro to Philosophy and instead taking that weird Philosophy and Human Nature or whatever it was called. I could not win in that class. I think they designed it to give engineers a complex. But at least I got to see the sloth a lot.
    On a related note, I think if I ever got a pet sloth, I would name him or her Sin, last name Deadly. Ha! Just kiddng, I’d totally name my pet sloth something awesome like Kirk.

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