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on 15 March 2017
excellent
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on 16 April 2014
A good book- very good introduction to the subject, easy to read, devoid of pretention and concentrates on the main aspects
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on 28 July 2015
excellent
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 8 December 2014
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. Men such as Erasmus, Machiavelli and Bacon redefined the investigative philosophy in time for the late sixteenth century and men such as Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz and Descartes. The Renaissance gave way to Enlightenment and Reason. Politics became a big aspect of philosophical musing, with the questions of divine right versus a social contract, constitutional rulers prolonging social inequalities – thinkers like Marx, Thomas Paine, Hegel and Adam Smith.

The rights of the poor and disenfranchised were asked of societies. Existentialist philosophers such as Sartre and Nietzsche try to reconcile philosophy to abuses of power in Nazi Germany; Nietzsche’s Ubermensch is the measure of all things, a creator of new values in a vacuum of nihilism. And so to current concerns – Freud, Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein. Still, in our modern, busy world which embraces science and religion to varying degrees, we contemplate mind and matter. Perhaps one of the aspects of mankind is always to question; always to seek answers to unanswerable questions. But it’s an intriguing journey, and this book offers a very readable and engaging, as well as thought-provoking chronological and thematic journey through the story of philosophy.
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on 20 September 2016
This is an excellent book which I bought to prepare me for my Open Uni course in 'exploring philosophy'. It is easy to read and explains concepts more than any other philosophy book I have read (or attempted to read!)
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on 30 April 2014
I'm using this book as part of my university course for extended reading. It's really informative and extremely helpful for my studies. It gives such a great insight into the world of philosophy in a readable, easy and straightforward way. Such a lifesaver for beginners!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 23 June 2012
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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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 8 December 2014
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. Men such as Erasmus, Machiavelli and Bacon redefined the investigative philosophy in time for the late sixteenth century and men such as Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz and Descartes. The Renaissance gave way to Enlightenment and Reason. Politics became a big aspect of philosophical musing, with the questions of divine right versus a social contract, constitutional rulers prolonging social inequalities – thinkers like Marx, Thomas Paine, Hegel and Adam Smith.

The rights of the poor and disenfranchised were asked of societies. Existentialist philosophers such as Sartre and Nietzsche try to reconcile philosophy to abuses of power in Nazi Germany; Nietzsche’s Ubermensch is the measure of all things, a creator of new values in a vacuum of nihilism. And so to current concerns – Freud, Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein. Still, in our modern, busy world which embraces science and religion to varying degrees, we contemplate mind and matter. Perhaps one of the aspects of mankind is always to question; always to seek answers to unanswerable questions. But it’s an intriguing journey, and this book offers a very readable and engaging, as well as thought-provoking chronological and thematic journey through the story of philosophy.
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on 25 October 2016
Story of philosophy introduces the subject that we all do all through our lives every day. It explains that the core ideas behind, maths, sciencee, pyschology, sociology, religious ideas, political science, critical reasoning and more subjects that are now seperated from philosophy have deep roots in philosophy.
It introduces the geniuses behind philosophies great thinkers, all of which still influence our thinking, And the thinking of some of the most influential. Geniuses today (even though many of us don't know who originally had the idea.)

In an incredibly easy to read, and also rather simple way, (or as simply as possible for philosophers such as kant, kierkegaard, hegel and hume can be.)
It introduces rnot only some of their most influential ideas, but also what originally influenced their ideas.

This is an incredible introduction to. Western philosophy, I'd even say that if this book doesn't spark your interest in this subject, very little will.
While my initial spark for this subect was initiated by an evening with Alan watts and Alice, like a fair amount of young people nowadays, James Garvey and Jeremy Stangroom has sparked my interest in acedemic study of philosophy while not "down the rabbit hole", and the section on further reading has given me great examples of where to start.

Whether that becomes (using the words of Wittgenstein) a new 'kind of agony' for me is yet to be seen, but nevertheless, this has been an amazing start
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on 4 November 2013
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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