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The Story of Philosophy: A History of Western Thought Paperback – 26 Apr 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; Paperback with flaps edition (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085738564X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857385642
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 1.6 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 506,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

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

About the Author

James Garvey has a PhD from University College London and is secretary of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, editor of The Philosophers' Magazine, and the author and editor of several books, including The Ethics of Climate Change and The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books.

Jeremy Stangroom has a PhD from the London School of Economics. He co-founded The Philosophers' Magazine with Julian Baggini in 1997. He is the author and editor of numerous books, most recently, Einstein's Riddle and Would You Eat Your Cat?


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 8 Dec. 2014
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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written, easy to understand. attractively presented.
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