The School of Life

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The School of Life
Three 13 Solutions, Campus London LLP, ELOE Limited, STOA Limited.[1]
Founded2008; 16 years ago (2008)
FounderAlain de Botton
Headquarters Edit this at Wikidata

The School of Life is a British multinational[2] social media company founded in 2008 by British author and public speaker Alain de Botton.[3][4] The company is headquartered in London.[5] It publishes various materials dealing with the topics of anxiety management,[6] emotional intelligence, relationships, work, creativity, and spirituality.


The School of Life was founded in 2008[4] by a group of academics, including author Alain de Botton. The curator, Sophie Howarth, is assisted by psychotherapists, artists, and educators.[7]


As of 2016, The School of Life owns a publishing press named "The School of Life Press."[8]


  • Great Thinkers (2016)
  • Relationships (2017)
  • How to Overcome Your Childhood (2018)
  • Anxiety (2019)
  • Big Ideas for Curious Minds (2019)
  • What They Forgot to Teach You at School (2020)
  • The Good Enough Parent (2021)
  • On Self Hatred (2022)


The company has been criticized for its representations of philosophers and philosophical arguments. The Los Angeles Review of Books criticized a series of books by the School of Life as being a "vortex of jargon pitched somewhere between the banal banter of daytime talk shows and the schedule for a nightmarish New Age retreat."[9] Professor Hans-Georg Moeller of the University of Macau has criticized the School's video on Lao Tzu, stating that it used fabricated quotes and misrepresented the Tao Te Ching.[10]

The School of Life's YouTube videos have been criticized for allegedly promoting a nihilistic and pessimistic worldview. Some videos have also been criticized for promoting acts such as masturbation and for publishing explicit images of genitalia.[11]

Jeffrey Howard praises the company for its critiques of romanticism and efforts to foster emotional intelligence using philosophy, and argues that The School of Life offers "self-help for those who might need a bit more engagement with the intellect to consider the complete living that comes with also employing our faculties that operate from the neck down."[12]


  1. ^ "Campus London LLP – Overview (free company information from Companies House)".
  2. ^ "A Brief History of the School of Life". Retrieved 2 February 2024.
  3. ^ "The School of Life: An Interview With Alain de Botton". HuffPost. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b Wyndham, Susan (29 June 2016). "Alain de Botton and his School of Life come to Sydney". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Londoner's Diary: Alain De Botton and his school exit Europe". London Evening Standard. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Preparing for Anxiety Management Training". Anxiety Management: 1–18. 28 April 2017. doi:10.4324/9781315172941-1. ISBN 9781315172941.
  7. ^ "Faculty". The School of Life. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "The School of Life | Your Path to Mental Wellbeing". The School of Life. Retrieved 30 November 2023.
  9. ^ Levy, Lisa (11 May 2013). "How To Think More (But Not Better): Alain de Botton's School of Life". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  10. ^ WORSE Philosophy Videos! School of Life on Eastern Philosophy - Lao Tzu, archived from the original on 20 December 2021, retrieved 15 June 2021
  11. ^ Kastel (19 October 2017). "The School of Life: An Education of Ignorance". みみドしま. Retrieved 25 December 2023.
  12. ^ Howard, Jeffrey (2019). "'The School of Life' Preaches Pessimism Over Romanticism." Erraticus. Retrieved March 18, 2023. [1]

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