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History of Western Philosophy (Routledge Classics)

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The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. For what this book sets out to do – pretty much, give the average reader an overview of Western Philosophical thought and its place within Western Culture and History, it does a remarkable job.

Just as we have authors today writing to make the most esoteric physics accessible to the layman through intelligent precis and analogy, Russell appears to have been a populist of his time.Although he was usually regarded as English, as he spent the majority of his life in England, he was born in Wales, where he also died. Aristotle, whose philosophy was a reaction to Plato, putting more emphasis on this world (as opposed to Plato's world of perfect Ideas as only Truth), wasn't very helpful as a medicine against dogmatism. It is a book that examines philosophical questions and it does not take an historical approach to the subject. Por isso, não é de estranhar que Russell ataque praticamente todos os filósofos que lista ao longo das várias centenas de páginas. This is a book that repays the effort of reading it – it is not a short introduction by any means (being over 800 pages), but it is only a difficult read when he discusses philosophers like Hegel and Bergson who are notoriously difficult anyway.

It remains unclear whether Russell in-fact understands the depths of his opponent's work, although it doesn't matter to him. For Russell, ideas don't exist in a vacuum, and the philosophers who expressed these ideas were as much influenced by their times as vice versa. As a historian, he is using at least three hats as: mathematician, English citizen and philosopher himself. What is best about this book is that it has inspired me to read some more Plato (I started his complete dialogues some time ago, but things got in the way.

The book is structured into three parts (Ancient Philosophy - Catholic Philosophy - Modern Philosophy) with its philosophy going right back to before Socrates, through the Middle Ages and into the twentieth-century. Corrections and minor revisions were made to printings of the British first edition and for 1961's new edition; no corrections seem to have been transferred to the American edition (even Spinoza's birth year remains wrong). The variety of thought and ideas here was really incredible and made for very easy and interesting reading throughout.

in other respects it is a marvelously readable, magnificently sweeping survey of Western thought, distinctive for placing it informatively into its historical context. Aliás, é por isso mesmo que cita Byron, pelo impacto que teve no desenvolvimento do romantismo que por sua vez viria a contaminar todo um século intelectual. This is of course an analytic philosopher's history of western philosophy, which means that Russell presupposes that there is a single rational goal which all philosophers are seeking to reach through collective progress. After all, the long stretch of time that allowed Russell to undertake the tome was granted him by a stay in prison — his crime was distributing pacifist literature during the First World War.The format followed is: a brief historical sketch to give context to a doctrine, an even briefer explanation, and then a long critical take that will put forward Russell’s opinions, usually about why it is misguided in the light of modern scientific approach. Definitely recommended to anyone with enough interest in the subject to persevere for over 800 pages. And although it may not cover every philosopher to have raised their head (particularly twentieth-century ones), it certainly covers all the major philosophers that anyone would care to know about.

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