978-0-7894-3511-8 / 9780789435118

Story of Philosophy


Publisher:DK ADULT



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About the book:

As a bright adolescent, Magee discovered--see his Confessions of a philosopher --that the kind of thinking he liked to do was called "philosophy". The great disappointment of his life was the realisation that, incapable of great original thoughts, he was condemned to be a populariser all his life. His loss is our gain, and this admirable illustrated book is his very partial account of philosophy for other adolescents and adults who need a handy crib. This is Whiggish history, in which everything leads to a selective group of 20th-century Greats--Wittgenstein, Russell and Popper--two of whom were Magee's personal friends; contemporary French thinkers like Foucault and Derrida are relegated to the sidelines and linguistic analysis treated as a slightly irrelevant game. It is also Eurocentric history in which we leap from Stoics and Epicureans to Thomas Aquinas taking in only Saint Augustine on the way--Muslim thinkers are no more than mentioned and the Buddha is only here as an influence on Schopenhauer. Illustrations and sidebars give a useful cultural context; Magee writes well about his intellectual heroes and this is a personal enough book to be both more and less than a mere introduction. --Roz Kaveney

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