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The Rise of Modern Philosophy (A New History of Western Philosophy, Vol. 3) Hardcover – 1 Sep 2006

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: OUP UK (1 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198752776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198752776
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 2.5 x 16.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,343,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Sir Anthony Kenny is one of Britain's most distinguished academic figures. He has been Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Master of Balliol College, Chairman of the Board of the British Library, and President of the British Academy. He has published more than forty books on philosophy and history.


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Format: Paperback
"The Rise of Modern Philosophy is The Fall of Philosophy"

It is difficult to decide which star rating to give to a book which deals with the history of philosophy or religion, because one can distinguish at least three factors which affect the rating: first, the ACCURACY of the ACCOUNT given by the book's author (call him A) of the views of those people whom he is discussing; secondly, the ASSESSMENT by A of the philosophical or theological MERIT of the VIEWS of those whom he is discussing (call them B,C, D, etc.); and thirdly, A's awareness of the EFFECT of the ideas of B, C, D, etc., on the historical events of their day. For example, if A is writing a history of religion in the sixteenth century, he must include not only an account of the theological views of the main actors, but also indicate what he (A) thinks of these views and of the events which they caused or influenced.

Having lived with Kenny's book for several weeks, reading it twice and referring back to it constantly, I think that its exposition of the views of the philosophers whom it discusses (B,C, D, etc.) is a very valuable overview of the period (roughly 1515 to 1841), and would merit a five-star rating. But I am less favourably impressed by Kenny's overall assessment of the merit of these philosophers, and of their
impact on the world around them, and the way they have helped to fashion the world in which we now live. I therefore give Kenny's book a three-star rating overall.

I must continue to talk in seeming generalities. I consider Kenny's book to be a must-read, but with many caveats. It must be read with extreme scepticism, with the ever-present possibility that whichever illustrious philosopher is under discussion may be talking mostly rubbish. To quote Kenny (p.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is written in a good style and has very clear language which makes it easy to understand. A nice size book with a very readable font. :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 28 July 2016
By jules - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
He's a great writer and historian
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Modern Philosophy 1 Dec. 2007
By Gene C. Bammel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kenny's books are as accurate as they are perceptive. This is no rush through the early stages of modern philosophy, but an accurate summary of what each of the major figures had to say, and then a perceptive analysis of the philosophical consequences. Kenny makes reading the history of philosophy great fun.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!! 30 Dec. 2012
By Francisco Serrano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I Love everything about this book the time that it took to arrive and it has really helped me in class.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad packaging 4 Feb. 2014
By Franni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
inexpensive for the book but the packaging was awful, the book was almost falling out of it. still works for my philosophy class
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Addition to Good Series 11 Oct. 2010
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
`The Rise of Modern Philosophy' is the third of four volumes in Anthony Kenny's `A New History of Western Philosophy' recently published by Oxford University Press. For those unfamiliar with the author, Kenny is a leading contemporary scholar that has previously written noteworthy texts on Aquinas, Descartes, and Wittgenstein amongst others. It is the second text in the series that I have read (I previously read Volume 1).

On the positive side it is the best single-author overview of Western philosophy of which I am familiar, more readable than Copleston and more evenhanded than Russell. Kenny is a talented writer with an impressive knowledge of the Western tradition, able to tell the story of philosophy is an integrated and insightful manner. As is becoming popular in introductory texts Kenny blends a chronological and subject matter approach, over viewing the period chronologically in the first third of the book then looking at specific subjects in more detail in the latter part (e.g. ethics, epistemology, metaphysics). This would seem to be a helpful approach to the newcomer; providing some important historic context before delving into specific material in detail.

On the less positive side, while I feel Kenny's work deserves a wide audience I am uncertain if it will readily find one. Those with sufficient background to follow the discussion may pass on the book, while those unacquainted with philosophy may find that the text moves too fast and somewhat opaque. Indeed given the tremendous amount of great thinkers in this period and the limited space available some important thinkers get rather short shrift (e.g. Hegel). Finally, from a physical perspective the paper is glossy, giving it a `fluffy' feel and making it difficult to read it certain lightening conditions (reflection).

Overall, this is a good work by an excellent philosopher. Despite some drawbacks it is a helpful book and I will likely pick up the remaining two volumes.
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