Already called "a masterpiece,"* this brilliant, beautifully written memoir introduces mainstream readers to all of the outstanding figures of Western philosophy.
"Until I was five I shared a bed with my sister, three years older than me. After our parents had switched out the light we would chatter away in the darkness until we fell asleep. But I could never afterwards remember falling asleep. It was always the same: one moment I was talking to my sister in the dark, and the next I was waking up in a sunlit room having been asleep all night. Yet every night there must have come a time when I stopped talking and settled down to sleep. It was incomprehensible to me that I did not experience that, and never remembered it."
In this inspiring, infectiously exciting book, Bryan Magee tells the story of his own discovery of philosophy, and makes the subject not only come alive but seem intensely relevant. He describes the fundamentals of philosophy as questions about the nature of reality encountered in the course of living, not as problems presented in the writings of the philosophers. Experiences of everyday life provoke discussions about why, through the ages, certain philosophical questions have persistently exercised our minds. Magee's memoir follows the course of his life, so that problems and philosophers are discussed in the order in which he came upon them, rather than in chronological order. By the end of the book, we have been introduced to all the great philosophers, from the pre-Socratics to those of the twentieth century, including two of the most important contemporary philosophers, Bertrand Russell and Karl Popper, both of whom the author knew personally.
Logically and with great fluency, Magee clarifies this sometimes obscure subject, revealing its richness to readers who may have considered it inaccessible. Intensely personal and brimming with intellectual enthusiasm, Confessions of a Philosopher is a fascinating introduction to philosophy by an outstanding writer and teacher.
"Bryan Magee from an early age has had a passion for philosophy. He has also been an MP and a renowned television broadcaster on current affairs, as well as on the history of ideas. Such breadth of experience, together with Magee's great talent for exposition, gives this autobiographical book its extraordinary wisdom, authority and impact."
--The Daily Telegraph
*Literary Review, London