- Hardcover: 895 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 2nd printing. edition (1972)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671314009
- ISBN-13: 978-0671314002
- Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.7 x 5.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,326,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A History of Western Philosophy, and Its Connection With Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day Hardcover – 1972
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
More About the Author
‘A precious book….a work that is in the highest degree pedagogical which stands above the conflicts of parties and opinion’ – Albert Einstein
'Remains unchallenged as the perfect introduction to its subject ... exactly the kind of philosophy that most people would like to read, but which only Russell could possibly have written.' - Ray Monk, University of Southampton, UK
'Beautiful and luminous prose, not merely classically clear but scrupulously honest.' - Isaiah Berlin
'It is a witty bird's-eye view of the main figures in Western thought enlivened by references to the personalities and quirks of the thinkers themselves.' - The Week
'A great philosopher's lucid and magisterial look at the history of his own subject, wonderfully readable and enlightening.' - The Observer--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
As part of our commitment to Russell publishing, the delux version of this bestselling title will continue to be available. Paperback: ISBN: 0415-078547 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
This is essentially three books compiled into one - Ancient, Catholic and Modern philosophy. In book 1, Russell kicks off with the rise of greek civilisation and its relationship to Mesopotamia and Egypt. Then the Pre-Socratic philosophers, through to Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and finally the Roman Empire. Book 2 takes you through the rise of Christian thought, the forefathers of Theology, the Dark Ages, Mohammedan culture and its philosophy. Book 3 starts at the Renaissance, through the rise of science and upto the Romantic period with Rousseau. Finally it moves through onto the 20th century through Kant, Hegel, Byron, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Marx. Inbetween the different 'books' Russell tells you the relevant connections and changes of philosophy that took place.
Due to the nature and great expanse of philosophy, it is no doubt impossible to fit every detail into this book as Russell explains, and that is why some of the chapters are explained or mentioned to how Russell sees them worthy and their effect or change on western thought. But but he did a great job considering its size and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to students, non-students or anyone interested in philosophy.
Russell's style is so convincing he was often plagiarised - unconscious imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. Joad (who copied Russell on Marx), and Aldous Huxley (who based Brave New World on a Russell work) are just two examples.
There are innumerable asides, which I presume (he wrote and assembled this book aged about 70) were the fruit of discussions in his youth and middle age; on psychology, groups, sex, emotions, animals, ethics, totalitarianism, adventures, trade - a vast range of topics.
I recommend this to everyone willing to take some trouble. I've met many people who would have benefitted from its intellectual stiffening - for example a gifted physics man who couldn't seem to grasp that atoms are mostly holes, even though they don't look that way. And who had never understood that the square root of two is 'irrational'. Hoary problems - 'universals', 'analytical' and 'synthetic', 'induction', 'teleology', 'determinism' - appear here and there, and it can do no harm to know about them.Read more ›
The above merits make the book a good introduction and a real insight for those who know philosophy but lack knowledge of its history. However, I cannot recommend it as a reference book. Russell fails to treat some very important philosophers (e.g. Kierkegaard, Husserl and Heidegger) and gives disproportionate space to lesser figures (Bergson, Dewey and Byron). The strengths of Kantian philosophy are almost completely missed. The least developed elements in Nietzsche's philosophy are emphasized to the exclusion of the more developed ones. The out of date elements of Aristotle's ethics are criticized and Aristotle's attempt to put ethics on a purely factual basis is ignored. Also, Russell's discussions often fail to acknowledge the approaches G E Moore and others have taken to the 'is-ought gap' (Russell just states his relativism and leaves it) as well as important elements in Wittgenstein (I suspect partly because Wittgenstein's philosophy makes a strong attack upon Russell's epistemology).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Russell sets out to demonstrate the evolution of Western philosophy by describing individual philosophers in more or less detail according to his view of their importance both as... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Rowena
Amazing authorship of the book. Challenging read but very worthwhile.Published 26 days ago by N Kurdy
Though the are many concepts from the history of philosophy that are far beyond me, it is my fault not his. The writing is witty and incisive, the scope is huge.Published 1 month ago by Fowlercary
One of my favourite books. great to consult when you want to recall the particulars argument of one of the major western philosophers. I particularly liked the Kant and Marx entry. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Paulo Abelha Ferreira
The perfect single book to take to a desert island with you. I've written some 7000 words on Russell in my book www.ConsolationsOfAutumn.com . Read morePublished 5 months ago by Hazhir Teimourian