By Samuel Dodson and Rosie Benson
About the book
What does it mean to be a good dog? Are tennis balls always real? Is a bark ever truly worse than a bite?
All these questions and more are answered in Philosophers’ Dogs, the groundbreaking treat-ise that has been dog years in the making. The book reveals a long-kept secret: that every human philosopher has stolen their best ideas from their canine companions, shamelessly disguising the dogs’ original thoughts as their own.
Featuring beautiful illustrations alongside meticulously researched historical fact,* Philosophers’ Dogs follows the trials, tribulations and tail-wagging of the pooches owned by famous philosophers and essayists. It is a vital addition to the bookshelves of philosophy students and dog lovers alike, packed with insights hitherto (wrongly) attributed to everyone from Confucius to Simone de Beauvoir via Socrates, Karl Marx and Mary Wollstonecraft.
*Not necessarily historical or factual.
My name is Samuel Dodson and I'm a twenty-something writer based in London. My early philosophical teachers were my Lab-Collie cross, Layla, who taught me that not all tennis balls need to be chased, and my border terrier, Marnie, who showed me that obeying orders isn't always strictly necessary (especially if food is involved). Having grown up with dogs, it quickly became apparent to me and my sister (whose incredible illustrations in this book blow my mind) that the real masters of philosophy in the world were of the four-legged variety; and so Philosophers' Dogs was born.
When not seeking to spread THE TRUTH about our canine companions, I spend a lot of my time working with unbelievably brilliant artists, writers and creatives through Nothing in the Rulebook - a creative collective inspired by the idea that there should be nothing to stop you from chasing the tennis balls of your own imagination.
I tweet as @instantidealism.
I am an artist currently living in the North of England, following stints in London and the South West.
I grew up in a lovely village called Timsbury & went to school in Bath. I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Illustration at University in Bristol.
It feels like a funny thing to call myself an artist as for many years it hasn’t been my main source of income, as I guess is true for many artists. It seems more appropriate to say that I’ve been artist in my heart, and sometimes in my head, for my entire life.
I certainly wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to collaborate with my brother on his wonderful book.
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, favouring the use of pencil, pen and watercolour. I wouldn’t say I have a signature style but when Sam pitched the idea of Philosophers’ Dogs to me, I was immediately drawn (pun intended) to the challenge of illustrating his book. I relished the chance of having fun with this fascinating concept, playing with art to subvert and satirise different images and figures.
Dogs have been part of the family my entire life, with one particularly special furry friend ‘Hector’, a beautiful, loyal and dependable Dalmatian. Although he has departed this mortal coil I know he would want me to do my best, to do justice for all the dogs out there whose philosophical ideas have been ignored and stolen for far too long.
- How long will it take for my book to get dispatched?For books in stock we usually dispatch orders within a few working days. You will receive a dispatch email when your order is on the way.Where can I get my book delivered to?We have temporarily stopped taking orders for published books going to EU destinations due to BREXIT restrictions, but we deliver to most other countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book. If your country does not appear on the list we are not currently taking orders to that destination.If I buy an ebook, when will I receive this?Ebook files are sent via email after checkout, or you can download them from your Unbound account.Where can I buy a copy if there's none available through the Unbound website?The book should be available to order from most bookshops, or you can support your local bookshop online by ordering from bookshop.org.
- 24th December 2021 Festive philosophical greetings! (Feat. pet pictures)
Festive greetings, friends! Another year is drawing to an end, bells are ringing, we’ve got Michael Bublé, the Pogues and all the rest on repeat, and grandparents everywhere are preparing to blame their post-Christmas dinner farts on our faithful dogs. It’s *that* time of year.
At these moments it’s generally accepted that we take a moment to look back on the year just gone; and for us, 2021 has…11th November 2021 Publication Day!
Well friends - the day is finally here! Three years since we launched our campaign, we are absolutely overjoyed to announce that today is officially the publication day of our book, 'Philosophers' Dogs'!
It's an incredible feeling to have reached this moment, as it is genuinely a dream come true for both of us. But we could never have got here without you. So, firstly, we'd like to take this…23rd April 2021 Philosophers' Dogs secures major international book deal
Good news, friends!
As each day brings us closer to PUP-lication day in October this year, we’re delighted to share some excellent news from the world of our philosophical dogs.
Our brilliant publishers, Unbound, have secured a deal for Chinese Simplified Rights with leading Chinese publisher, Beijing Standaway Books Co (BSBC).
For the uninitiated, that means BSBC have bought the right…7th December 2020 A Dog's Life
A very special 'pup-date' for you all this week, as we can now confirm that Unbound will be publishing our book, 'Philosophers' Dogs' in October 2021. We're really pleased with this as it means we can aim for the Christmas book market next year - hooray! We can't wait to see the book on bookstore shelves, especially as it will have all the names of our incredible supporters listed in it. Of course…27th November 2020 Black Friday 25% discount for dog lovers and canine philosophers
It seems every one and their dog is getting in on the Black Friday action right now; but it's also #BookFriday - and there's just one discount deal we want you all to know about.
Our brilliant publishers, Unbound, are offering a 25% discount on all pledges up to £75, using the code BOOKFRIDAY2020 when you check out.
So, if you can think of any friends/family members…9th November 2020 It’s a (belated) Howl-o-ween miracle!
Well, friends, the leaves are turning, the nights are starting to draw in, and every now and then you see a pug in a pumpkin costume cross the road in front of you. It can mean only one thing: Halloween (Howl-o-ween, in the canine calendar) has come and gone and we’re delighted to share an update about the progress of our book (accompanied by some pictures of dogs in appropriate seasonal attire…20th August 2020 Philosophers' Dogs on the BBC!
Hello there friends!
There's a lot going on in the world of Philosophers' Dogs, as Rosie and Sam make the finishing touches to the book before passing across to the Unbound editorial team.
In some exciting news, Sam has also recently been on BBC Radio show, The Barking Hour, to talk about our book and (more importantly) some of the fabulous philosophical puppers within its pages.
Some…29th July 2020 We did it! (AKA a round of ap-paws to our su-paw-tors!)
It’s official: ‘Philosophers’ Dogs’ is going to be a *THING*.
As many of you may have seen already, we reached our crowdfunding target earlier in the summer (at the height of lockdown, would you believe), and we now stand at 102%! This means that our book will be published by our fantastic publishers, Unbound, and we will finally be able to spread the gospel truth about the philosophers’ dogs…11th June 2020 We're almost there!
First things first, we're extraordinarily pleased to say that thanks to all of you brilliant people, we're now over 95% of the way towards our crowdfunding target. At the time of writing, we're at 96% with 307 absolutely incredible supporters (that's you, that is).
This means we're very much on the final stretch - and we are SO close to our final goal now. By our reckoning…19th May 2020 And the “best in show” prize goes to…
Pup culture knowledge was tested. Beers were pawed. Tales were told and tails were wagged. A fair few [dog] puns were used, and you, the audience, made our first ever virtual pup quiz totally pawesome. And we’re now over 90% of the way towards our funding target!
That’s right, thanks to all you lovely folk, our virtual “pup” quiz was a lot of fun – and it was absolutely fantastic to see so many…11th May 2020 "I woof, therefore, I am" - an interview with a real-life canine philosopher
Good news, everyone!
As dogs across the UK rejoice at the news their humans are now allowed *unlimited* dog walking exercise time outside, and as we make our final preparations for this Thursday's 'Philosophers' Dogs' virtual "pup" quiz, we're really pleased to bring you an interview with an actual, real-life canine philosopher...
Ex rescue shelter pooch, spokesmutt for abandoned dogs…6th May 2020 Let's get quizzical!
Hello gang, we hope you’re all keeping well during these uncertain lockdown times. To try and help keep us all connected, and stop us from all chasing our tails in circles, we’ve set up a little something for your entertainment and viewing pleasure…
First of all, let us remind you of a type of establishment that was once found throughout the land, and which provided the core foundation for…29th April 2020 Philosophers and their dogs: an interview with David Milliern
This week we’re absolutely thrilled to bring all you lovely folk an interview with the philosopher, scientist, and all-round okay-dude, David Milliern (pictured here with his very good dog, Bera/Bernadette).
Trained in physics, cosmology, and astronomy, David has taught and studied at numerous prestigious institutions, including Harvard, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. While…17th April 2020 Dogs in a time of coronavirus
Hello, friends. These sure are some strange times to be living in, are they not? For us (Rosie and Sam, that is), we live on opposite sides of the UK; so we're used to having chats and brainstorming ideas 'virtually' - but it sure was weird not doing the traditional family Easter celebrations with all the siblings, nieces, nephews and (perhaps most importantly) dogs all together. The obligatory…9th March 2020 Walkies down memory lane
Here’s a little something you might have already guessed: we love dogs. Adore them, in fact. There; we said it. But while this might not come as the greatest of all surprises, dogs have always been part of our lives – and they’ve shaped them for the better.
Now, as anyone who has grown up with dogs will attest; canine companions fill your lives with stories. Whether that’s because of the time…14th February 2020 Valentine’s Dogs
Well, it’s that time of year again; love is in the air, and Hallmark shareholders are rejoicing. It’s Valentine’s Day, of course – and we’re here to tell you why, this year, all you need is dogs (to paraphrase John Lennon).
We’ve been going through the original thinking of canine philosophers (and even some humans!) to pull out some of the absolute best quotes from our four-legged friends about…31st January 2020 Biscuits means biscuits
So, it’s finally here. Over 3 years after the dogs of the UK voted for more biscuits, in perhaps the most significant canine referendum, canines across the country will be receiving the aforementioned biscuits at precisely 11pm this evening.
It is a topic that has dominated doggy discourse ever since that fateful election day in June 2016, with pooches from Scotland to Cornwall all barking…30th January 2020 Over 75% of the way there...
Firstly - some good news! 'Philosophers' Dogs' is now over 75% of the way towards our funding target. That is, quite simply, amazing - and we couldn't have got there without you, our wonderful, brilliant, superlative-defying supportes. So thank you, thank you, thank you. You are genuinely the best (but you knew that already, right?)
Now, what does that mean for the book? Well…2nd January 2020 New year resolutions from some of the wisest philosophical dogs
Happy new year, amigos!
Well, a new decade is upon us, and we hope you had the most marvellous of festive breaks. Sam spent December in New Zealand, meeting lots of (very good) dogs and learning about their own philosophical inclinations. We thought it would be mighty remiss of us not to introduce you to some of the canine comrades he met on his travels, and to their personal fur-losophies. There…11th November 2019 For this week only...10% off!
So, we're now at 65% of our crowdfunding target, which means we've smashed through the 60% barrier and - as a result, Unbound are offering everyone the chance to get a 10% DISCOUNT on any pledge or upgrade made this week.
All you need to do is use the code OVER60 and you can get 10% off on pre-orders of our book, as well as our selection of post cards, philosophical dog walks…7th November 2019 Christmas is coming earlier and earlier each year...
You've noticed it already, haven't you? Halloween has come and gone and they're already stocking mince pies and chocolate snowmen in the stores - perhaps even putting up sparkling fairy lights in town. There's something in the air and it's not just the snap chill of winter...
That's right, Christmas is just around the corner and, while many folk are starting to plan their office Christmas…15th October 2019 Philosophers' Dogs in the news!
So we're just a couple of backers away from reaching the giddy heights of 60%! We couldn't have got this far without each and every one of you and it means the absolute world to have your support.
It seems our little project is also one that appeals to quite a few folk out in the ether, and we're extremely pleased to bring you this short update to let you know about some of…16th September 2019 COMPETITION TIME! Win a FREE personalised 'paw-trait' of your dog (worth £300)
As we move past the half way point in our campaign, we're launching a 'Philosophers' Dogs' competition that will give you (and your friends & family) the chance to win a FREE personalised 'Paw-trait' of your dog, worth a whopping £300.
You just need to send us a pic or video of your dog along with an appropriate philosophical quote! Our favourite dog & quote combo will win.
Here's…1st September 2019 Ohhhhh, we're half-way there....
Blimey! We've only gone and hit 50% of our crowdfunding target! Can't really say just how grateful we are to each and every one-hundred-and-eighty-one of you fabulous, amazing, brilliant folk who have helped us get this far. Honestly, there are no supurlatives that do justice here. So, let us simply say, firstly, THANK YOU. It's all downhill from here.
This week, we'll also be sending you all…2nd August 2019 Let's have a PAW-ty
Supporters of Philosophers’ Dogs, unite! By pledging to support our project, you’ve all thoroughly proved yourselves to be absolutely tip top people. Although we’re still very much on our crowdfunding journey, we wanted to pause and take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone of you, and to say thanks for your continued support, we wanted to invite you to a very special event…
That’s right, you…16th July 2019 “We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” – Alan Chewring
News, everyone! And not the fake kind.
We are now officially a third (A THIRD!) of the way towards making "Philosophers’ Dogs" a reality and that means you (our wonderful, brilliant supporters) are all a third of the way closer to getting all of your philosophical canine merch & experiences. Happy days!
News; news; and discount codes
Of course, there’s still two more thirds to go, but…19th June 2019 Philosophers' Dogs - an extract
We have reached over 25% of our funding target, which is really quite ruddy fantastic. We're quarter of the way up the crowdfunding mountain - or, to put it another way, if each one of you lovely people who has supported the book so far were able to persuade 4 of your friends/family/long-lost acquaintances to support the book as well, we'd be at 100% and the book and all the lovely…31st May 2019 "Achieving great things is like going on a very good, long walk - not through a single great stride; but rather through a series of short steps, taken one after another. Often in pursuit of squirrels." - Vincent van Woof.
Hello friends! We've reached 20% of our goal and you are helping us take the little steps we need towards making 'Philosophers' Dogs' a reality. Having been quite literally in an underground military bunker for most of this week, it was the most incredible feeling to emerge, blinking, into the glorious light of my laptop screen to see that this second milestone on our journey towards publication has…17th May 2019 Small steps; big strides
Philosophical canine greetings amigos!
It is still early days in our crowdfunding journey but Rosie and I are so pleased to announce that we have just hit 10% of our crowdfunding target to make 'Philosophers' Dogs' a reality. And we've done that before the end of the first week (heck, even before the COP on Friday so we've still got oodles of time to get this figure even higher!)