Sunday, August 17, 2003

SSO (Susan the Significant Other) found the new translation of Aurelius at the bookshop yesterday that started me thinking about his Meditations again. She also noticed that the suggested shelving category of the book was "Philosophy/Business". That's rather sad - the publishers felt that their best shot at getting decent sales was to get the book on the Be Better At Business section.

I'm probably being too snobbish, though. The Meditations have survived because successive generations of educated people (educated men, until very recently) have found them applicable to their lives. And many, if not most of those men were in management: managing the church, managing feudal estates, and now, managing businesses.

One might also speculat that the Philosophy/Business categorization is an attempt to straddle the female/male self-help market. I have no data for this, but I suspect that 80% of the readers of business self-help books are male, and 65% of the self-actualization (which is what so much of the "philosophy" shelves are about) market are female.

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