Customer Reviews


12 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magisterial
Bryan Magee's 'Introduction to Western Philosophy' is a brilliant analysis of the works of the most important Western philosophers from Plato to Bertrand Russell.
This book is based on a BBC TV series which was presented as a discussion between the author and one of the leading authorities on every philosopher.
During the discussions all the most important...
Published on 11 Sep 2005 by Luc REYNAERT

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult Enough...
"The Great Philosophers" is an interesting book, but unlike some other reviewers I would hesitate about recommending it to beginners in the subject like myself. If I hadn't have read Nigel Warburton's "Philosophy-The Classics" before I tackled this book I wouldn't have had a clue about most of what Bryan Magee and his academic friends were talking about. The book takes...
Published on 29 Nov 2011 by L. Davidson


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magisterial, 11 Sep 2005
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Bryan Magee's 'Introduction to Western Philosophy' is a brilliant analysis of the works of the most important Western philosophers from Plato to Bertrand Russell.
This book is based on a BBC TV series which was presented as a discussion between the author and one of the leading authorities on every philosopher.
During the discussions all the most important philosophical problems were tackled. To name a few: causality, determinism, free will, freedom, the existence of the self, the body-mind problem, the subject-object relationship, the problem of induction, tolerance, the problem of the just war or the basics of human nature ('the would-be knower is a biological organism struggling for survival').
This book is written in very clear, straightforward and very comprehensive prose, rather exceptional for this kind of work.
It gives a magisterial summary of the basic ideas of every philosopher. Into the bargain, it can be consulted easily for every chapter can be read independently.
I have only a few remarks. First, I miss one great philosopher of the 20th century: Karl Popper. I suppose that he was left out because he was still living when the book was published. On the other hand, Bryan Magee filled the gap by writing a separate book on Popper, which I recommend to everyone.
Secondly, I don't share his enthusiasm for the 'second' Wittgenstein and the latter's disastrous sliding into the morass of linguistics with his language games.
All in all, this book is a magisterial summary of 2500 years of Western philosophy. A must read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful beginners' guide, 9 July 2005
By 
Mr. D. T. Davies "Dan Davies" (Plymouth UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book contains the transcripts of interviews that Bryan Magee conducted on television with some fellow philosophers. In them they discuss all the main philosophers that you have heard of but assumes you know nothing about. It is therefore more like listening to Philosophy than reading it: it lacks the long verbose sentences for which philosophy books are famous and which scare beginners off; the dialogue is fluid and highly interesting and all in all makes a perfect introduction to anyone who has never studied philosophy before and wants to know what it's all about. People who have studied philosophy will not gain anything from it at all [try the Oxford Encyclopedia for that] as nothing is covered in great depth, but that is not the aim of the book. It is deep enough to dip your toe into though, and it achieves that aim wonderfully. Read it, find out which philosophers light your flame and then read more!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very useful chronological guide to the great thinkers., 18 Jan 2001
By A Customer
The most important feature of this book, is that it provides a well written and easily understanable guide to some of the greatest thinkers of philosophy. The author invites eminent experts in their field to discuss the work and lives of the great philosophers; from Plato to Witgenstein.This he then turns into a chronological account. A great introduction to anyone like myself starting on the philisophical road.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars extremely interesting but the style demands concentration and attention., 7 April 2007
By 
Killian (the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
The book is a wonderful introduction to the major philosophers but, due to its transcript nature, it is an unusual and sometime tiresome book to read. I had hoped for more of a pros discussion of the interviews but - with the interviews questions included also in the text - it therefore felt to me as if I were reading a script rather than a book. Content wise, however, it is extremely interesting but the style demands concentration and attention.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult Enough..., 29 Nov 2011
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"The Great Philosophers" is an interesting book, but unlike some other reviewers I would hesitate about recommending it to beginners in the subject like myself. If I hadn't have read Nigel Warburton's "Philosophy-The Classics" before I tackled this book I wouldn't have had a clue about most of what Bryan Magee and his academic friends were talking about. The book takes the form of dialogues between Magee and various philosophers about the most notable philosophers from Plato to Wittgenstein. The book assumes that the reader is familiar with the material that these philosophers wrote and understands it. I was able to follow the dialogues with relation to the likes of Plato or Hume for instance (these philosophers were covered in "Philosophy-The Classics"), but got lost when they started talking about Heidegger and the American Pragmatists (not covered in Warburton's book).So I would approach "The Great Philosophers" with caution if I were a beginner in the subject. The book is quite a highbrow one and the dialogues discuss general theories rather than explore and explain them in detail to the reader. "The Great Philosophers" is a challenging read and I would definitely advise any interested beginners to try a few easier books first rather than delve into this one right away.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Fine, accessible introduction to some great thinkers, 22 July 2013
By 
Jeremy Bevan (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I enjoyed this series of conversational introductions to the great philosophers of the Western tradition. Bryan Magee has done a good job of editing the transcripts from the original broadcast discussions he hosted, and the vast majority of the dialogues will serve as accessible introductions to the philosopher(s) or schools in question for those unfamiliar with them. I found the chapters on Leibniz/Spinoza, Locke/Berkeley, Hume and Wittgenstein particularly interesting, and only those on Medieval Philosophy and the American Pragmatists rather uninspiring. Could perhaps have done with a bibliography, but still a fine single-volume introduction nonetheless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars An Introduction to Western Philosophy, 18 May 2012
We know the famous books of Bryan Magee on Karl Popper, Schopenhauer, Wagner, and his illustrated presentation of the history of philosophy. We find here , through discussions with specialists, a clear and shrewd introduction to the great philosophers from Plato and Aristotle until the Schools of Vienna, Oxford and Cambridge. This gives us an original and general view (especially about epistemology and theory of knowledge) upon western philosophy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Unmatched, 13 April 2012
This is an outstanding book. As an introduction to philosophy it remains unmatched. The book is worth buying just for Hubert Dreyfus's marvellously illuminating discussion on Heidegger alone. But there is so much more to savour here. Bernard Williams on Descartes is almost as brilliant. And John Passmore on Hume and Geoffrey Warnock on Kant are both excellent. All the discussions leave you enlightened in some way. There are other good introductions to Philosophy: Nigel Warburton's 'The Classics' (and 'The Basics'), Russell's 'Problems of Philosophy' and Diane Collinson's highly commendable, 'Fifty Major Philosophers'. This book clearly remains the best though and repays re-readings. Caviar for the brain and a feast for the senses!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophical and historical introductions to the great philosophers, 12 Nov 2011
A great, clear and concise introduction to some of the greatest philosophers. Short introductions followed by exposition and discussion with contemporary philosophers (of the 1970s) of the great philosophers' main ideas and why they are still important today. Useful for students or those who want to find out what all the fuss is about. Useful if you see the videos too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The great philosophers, 9 Oct 2011
A must read for anyone interested in philosophy or just wanting to expand their own knowledge of the world. I was greatly impressed by the concise nature of the accounts presented in the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Great Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy
The Great Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy by Bryan Magee (Hardcover - 10 Sep 1987)
Used & New from: 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews