Fernando Savater is considered one of Spain’s living treasures. He has written on ethics, love, politics, theater, and much more. The 7 Deadly Sins is a work that exemplifies his accessible and colloquial philosophical style.
The 7 Deadly Sins covers each sin in its own chapter. Each chapter starts off with a dialogue between the author and Satan, with Satan trying to get the author to loosen up and engage in the sin of that chapter, promoting the virtues of the sin. After the dialog the Savater dives into the ‘sin’ from several perspectives, namely, Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and philosophical. He sites scholars of each religion in relaying these perspectives.
Savater goes deep into each sin, and as mentioned before, speaks of the virtues of each sin. Rage, for instance, is often necessary for social change or for standing up for yourself or others. There are other cases, like for pride, where one does not know where self esteem ends and pride starts, similar to where patriotism ends and nationalism begins. It is interesting thinking about these sins from a different perspective.
For a philosopher, Savater’s style is easily accessible and downright fun. He sounds like the type of person that I’d enjoy having a beer with. I’ve already started reading another book by Savater, Etica de Urgencia (the Urgency Ethic), and it is equally captivating, enlightening, and fun. If you’re interested in some light philosophical reading, you may want to check out some of the work of Fernando Savater.