101 Great Philosophers: Makers of Modern Thought Paperback – 1 Sep 2009
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"A lecturer and TV commentator on economics and political philosophy based in Cambridge, England, Pirie offers a new take on philosophy 101 by summarizing in little over a page the ideas of thinkers he considers to have had most impact and significance on human thought. Some of those included who are not usually thought of as philosophers are Archimedes, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Mary Shelly, and Charles Darwin. The arrangement is chronological, but the philosophers are indexed as well." -Eithne O'Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc.
'[A] handsome armchair guide ... Pirie's gentle invitation to the rich treasure house of thinking that has been home to our civiliztion is terribly geniuine and persuasive.' - Good Book Guide
'Fans of the "dip-in-and-have-a-go" approach to philosophy should form an orderly queue.' - City AM
Reviewed in The Guardian, 2010.
About the Author
MADSEN PIRIE is President of the Adam Smith Institute and author of numerous books including Boost Your IQ and The Sherlock Holmes IQ Book. He was formerly Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Logic at Hillsdale College, Michigan, USA. He appears regularly as an expert on CNN and BBC television.'
Top Customer Reviews
Not any more. Madsen Pirie has produced a first class summary of the ideas of 101 of the greatest thinkers, getting to the essence of their contribution, and what was innovative and important about it, and all in 400 words for each of them. This is a book you could read in an evening, if you could stand the information overload. It actually makes a good dipping book, too, in that Dr Pirie writes engagingly as well as clearly, giving a glimpse of their lives in most cases, as well as their ideas.
It is a superb way to get a grip on the subject; and will undoubtedly stimulate readers to delve more into those whom Madsen Pirie calls the "makers of modern thought".
With the ever-increasing quantity of information, what has been lacking is an accessible summation of these without the need to wade through vast quantities of texts... until now.
Invaluable to those new to philosophy, this book will also be of interest to those that already have a grounding in the subject. The book's wide breadth ensures that intellect will be stirred, gaps in knowledge filled and connections in thought.
The ideal gift for anyone with a curious mind, this book comes highly recommended.
In entries of just 400 words, Pirie manages to capture the essence of each philosopher's ideas. His writing style is accessible to all, and the quirky nods to relevant myths and legends only foster further curiosity and a desire to learn more. The dizzying web of philosophy is demystified by Pirie's elegant captions. With a degree in philosophy himself, Pirie hopes to pique interests and be the intermediary towards further discovery. As his caveat in the preface mentions, he has taken a "broad definition" of what it is to be a philosopher - "Anyone whose thought has changed the way we think about ourselves, our societies or our world, has a potential claim to be included." This book is recommended for anyone with an open mind and wants to find out more about what has shaped the world of ideas today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THe concept of the book is great.
However its a bit disappointing. Doesn't come alive. The choice of the 101 philosophers is fine but the summaries are weak and the... Read more
You will not find convoluted explanations or long-winded histories in this book; just short and concise expositions on the philosophies of some of the greatest minds in history. Read morePublished on 22 Nov. 2009 by Frederick Davies
He admits frankly in the introduction that readers will no doubt question some of his choices and omissions. Read morePublished on 7 Oct. 2009 by Andrew Ian Dodge