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The Story of Philosophy: A History of Western Thought [Kindle Edition]

James Garvey , Jeremy Stangroom
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £5.22 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

The Story of Philosophy sees philosophy for what it is: a passionate, exhilarating quest for human understanding that cannot be reduced to dry categories or simple definitions. It's a story with plot twists, a murder, accidental discoveries, disastrous love affairs, geniuses, idiots, monks, and vagabonds. At the heart of it all are the ideas and obsessions that have captured great thinkers from the very beginning.

Packed with intriguing anecdotes and fascinating detail, James Garvey and Jeremy Stangroom bring us face to face with the most important philosophers in western history. Rigorous, refreshingly free of academic jargon, and highly accessible, this is the ideal introduction for anyone who wants to gain a new perspective on philosophy's biggest thoughts.


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Review

'an invaluable introduction to the topic ... offers clarity, insight and the occasional dash of wit' Scotland on Sunday.

From the Inside Flap

The Story of Philosophy sees philosophy for what it is: a passionate, exhilarating quest for human understanding that cannot be reduced to dry categories or simple definitions. It's a story with plot twists, a murder, accidental discoveries, disastrous love affairs, geniuses, idiots, monks and vagabonds. At the heart of it all are the ideas and obsessions that have captivated great thinkers from the very beginning. Packed with intriguing anecdotes and fascinating detail, James Garvey and Jeremy Stangroom bring us face to face with the most important philosophers in western history. The story begins with the Ancient Greeks: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, great thinkers who set the philosophical agenda to this day. It continues with the Roman philosophers - slaves and emperors who found consolation in deep thoughts about life and death - and moves on to the religious thinkers of the Middle Ages. The origins of modern science, politics and morality are examined, alongside theories of knowledge, logic, mind and matter. Along the way, you'll discover Descartes' evil demon, Locke on the limits of knowledge, Rousseau and Hobbes on human nature, Hume's scepticism, Kant on duty, Nietzsche's Superman, Marx on class struggle, Russell's logic, Wittgenstein on meaning, Sartre on bad faith, Foucault's take on power, and much more. Rigorous, refreshingly free of academic jargon and highly accessible, this is the ideal introduction for anyone who wants to gain a new perspective on philosophy's deepest mysteries and most intriguing discoveries.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3944 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (17 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0074VPJPE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,777 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent, illustrated history of philosophy. 23 Jun. 2012
By Jazzrook TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is an inspiring, intellectually stimulating and accessible introduction to the history of western philosophy.
The book is divided into six sections: 'The Beginning of Philosophy'; 'Greeks & Romans'; 'Religion'; 'Knowledge'; 'Modern Matters' & 'Current Concerns'. Some of the topics covered include 'The First Philosophers'; 'Cynics, Stoics and Sceptics'; 'Faith and Reason'; 'Renaissance and Enlightenment'; 'Idealism'; 'Nihilism and Existentialism' & 'Continental Philosophy'. The book concludes with predictions on the possible future of philosophy and suggestions for further reading.
'The Story of Philosophy' is an exciting, beautifully illustrated and clearly written guide to a fascinating subject which should appeal to the general reader as well as students of philosophy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story of Philosophy 8 Dec. 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant introduction to Western philosophy, being not only a text which offers insight and thought-provoking understanding of the great Western philosophical journey, but which also offers wonderful illustrations to help the reader cement that text into a greater understanding. So each chapter of the book is an enlightening text, with pertinent illustrations which help to put together what can be extremely complex learnings.

The authors have started their journey into Western philosophy with the writings of Homer and Hesiod, then moved to the Milesian and Presocratic philosophers – Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Pythagoras, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Zeno, Leucippus and Democritus. This takes us right up to the Atomists in about 370 BCE.

This is followed by chapters on Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Then the Cynics, Stoics, Sceptics and Epicureans (with a touch more of the Atomists). By now, I’ve decided that I rather like the philosophy of Epicurus, where he believed that the main aim of philosophy is to lead people into a state of ataraxia, or tranquillity.

The impact of Christianity on philosophy as practised by the Greeks and Romans was rather devastating, and while it didn’t set back philosophy as such, it did change the focus – philosophical questions became more focused on the religious aspects of life and how God may fit into that philosophical framework. This was much more of a focus of the medieval philosophers such as Anselm, Aquinas and William of Ockham among others.

The world changed again in the fourteenth century with the advent of Renaissance humanism, and the rediscovery of the early and classical writers and thinkers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 4 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very conprehensive and in Kindle format very good value. If you want to get an overview of Western Philosopny I can recommend this book most highly!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and enjoyable 19 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent and very accessible introduction to philosophy, whether like me you're refreshing your memory, or are new to the subject. A solid starting point for pursuing further studying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and absorbing 6 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good coverage and written in a style that's easy to digest. This book steers an easy-to-follow course through the subject combining chronology with thematic links. For the first time traveller, there may be too much to take in in one visit but the open style and friendly narrative would reward occasional returns.
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5.0 out of 5 stars philosophy made easy 9 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written, so that this complex subject can be absorbed quickly. Sheds light on the vagaries of social v natural science philosophical positions.
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