Robert Rowland Smith

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For the Australian politician, see Bob Rowland Smith.

Robert Rowland Smith was for seven years a Prize Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford and is a consultant, lecturer and writer on philosophy, literature and psychoanalysis. He has written for The Independent[1] and The Evening Standard, been profiled in The Sunday Telegraph, Time Out and The Observer, and contributed to books on philosophy for children. As well as broadcasting for BBC Radio and television, he has contributed to the Philosophy Bites podcast series and currently has a column on everyday dilemmas in the Sunday Times Magazine.


Robert Rowland Smith has published on philosophy, literature and psychoanalysis, including Derrida and Autobiography (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and Death-Drive: Freudian Hauntings in Literature and Art (Edinburgh University Press, 2010). His book, Breakfast with Socrates: The Philosophy of Everyday Life, has appeared in translation around the world.

Smith has taught in the UK, France, Norway, and California; he was invited by the British Council to undertake a European lecture tour, and was closely involved with the Oxford Amnesty Lectures. He has spoken at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Hayward Gallery, the French Institute, The Royal Society of Arts and the London School of Economics.

Smith is a faculty member at The School of Life, where he runs a breakfast Club, teaches courses on Love and Family and practices constellations. He is a founding editor of the award-winning journal, Angelaki, to which he has contributed articles and sits both on the editorial board and that of its associated book series, Angelaki Humanities.

In conjunction with his literary ventures, Smith is also an independent management consultant. He specializes on issues of strategy and change with boards and senior teams as well as coaching chief executives. His clients have included the Foreign Office, English Heritage, Pearson and Barclays Bank. His book The Reality Test, drawn from his extensive experience as a consultant on business strategy, was published in 2013.

Having lived for many years in Oxford, France and Los Angeles, Robert has returned to his native London where he lives with his wife. He has three daughters.


  • Breakfast With Socrates. Hardback. London: Profile Books, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84668-237-7. [2]
  • Derrida and Autobiography (Cambridge University Press, 1995)
  • Death-Drive: Freudian Hauntings in Literature and Art (Edinburgh University Press, 2010)
  • Driving with Plato (Profile, 2011)[3]
  • The Reality Test (Profile, 2013) [4]


  1. ^ "Robert Rowland Smith: If you're happy, and you know it, clap your hands". The Independent. 8 May 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Book Review: Breakfast With Socrates by Robert Rowland Smith". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. June 10, 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Berkmann, Marcus (24 February 2011). "Not sure of the next step? Then let Plato be your guide". Mail Online. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Book Review: The Reality Test". Irish Times. August 12, 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 

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