In Praise of Folly Book Summary - In Praise of Folly Book explained in key points
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In Praise of Folly summary

Wit and Wisdom on Human Folly

4.3 (26 ratings)
4 mins
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    In Praise of Folly
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    One big idea: Embracing our folly.

    Welcome to this Big Idea. For this very short type of Blink, our editors choose one thought-provoking insight from a book so you can learn something new within just a few minutes. The idea we’d like to talk about this time is revolving around the surprising notion that folly, or foolishness, can often result in happiness and prosperity. 

    It’s a concept that is based on the book In Praise of Folly, written by Desiderius Erasmus in 1511 – a satirical essay that criticizes societal follies and ecclesiastical corruption through the persona of Folly, personified as a goddess. Erasmus uses humor and irony to expose the vices and absurdities of his time, advocating for a return to Christian simplicity and piety. The work, blending classical scholarship with humanist critique, played a significant role in the intellectual debates leading up to the Reformation, challenging readers to reflect on the true values of Christianity and human society.

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    What is In Praise of Folly about?

    In Praise of Folly (1511) is a critical examination of societal norms and institutions with a satirical lens, unveiling an unconventional wisdom that praises folly, or foolishness, as a driving force behind much human action and happiness.

    In Praise of Folly Review

    In Praise of Folly (1509) is a satirical essay by Erasmus that sheds light on societal absurdities and human nature in a witty and humorous way. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Its sharp critique of various aspects of 16th-century society remains relevant and thought-provoking today.
    • The book offers insightful observations into human behavior, encouraging readers to reflect on their own actions and beliefs.
    • With its humorous tone and clever satire, the book manages to entertain while delivering profound messages about the folly of mankind.

    Who should read In Praise of Folly?

    • Fans of Renaissance literature
    • Students of philosophy
    • Individuals questioning societal norms

    About the Author

    Desiderius Erasmus was a Dutch scholar and priest in the late 15th and early 16th century. His works in theology, philosophy, and education earned him a significant place in the history of Renaissance humanism.

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    In Praise of Folly FAQs 

    What is the main message of In Praise of Folly?

    The main message of In Praise of Folly highlights the follies and absurdities of society and the need for moral introspection.

    How long does it take to read In Praise of Folly?

    Reading In Praise of Folly takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is In Praise of Folly a good book? Is it worth reading?

    In Praise of Folly is worth reading for its humorous critique of societal norms and thought-provoking reflections.

    Who is the author of In Praise of Folly?

    The author of In Praise of Folly is Erasmus of Rotterdam.

    What to read after In Praise of Folly?

    If you're wondering what to read next after In Praise of Folly, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    • The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith
    • Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas
    • Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Sigmund Freud
    • Common Sense by Thomas Paine
    • On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche
    • The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
    • The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe
    • Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler
    • Think This, Not That by Josh Axe