- Hardcover: 181 pages
- Publisher: Barnes & Noble (1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1566192714
- ISBN-13: 978-1566192712
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,589,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ideas of the Great Philosophers Hardcover – 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
In Part One on epistemology, the authors acknowledge that an exploration of the entire scope of epistemology and logic would require many volumes and a lifetime of study. However, they bring the reader through a summary of the main problems, touching on how to distinguish truth from error, how to analyze the fallacies of reasoning, and the nature and attainability of truth itself. These considerations are not vacuous, for they are all immediately practical, and, most importantly, they are deeply embedded in the still elusive goal of bringing about the rise of intelligent machines.
Part Two contemplates the "good life": the philosophical construction of ethical theories of correct conduct. The mere fact that humans can choose freely different courses of action is proof of the need and truth of ethics. The finding of the correct one though cannot be done without careful consideration. The authors give the reader many approaches taken throughout the history of philosophy. These approaches have been institutionalized and codified, but ethical philosophy has not exhausted itself.Read more ›
By the way, Sahakian was a very widely learned scholar who also wrote a great book on psychology, which was his Learning Theory book. It was better than any book that I read on the subject by a psychologist writer, and I used it to study for the advanced GRE in psychology. Last time I heard, Sahakian was at Syracuse University, and I hope he's still alive and well. He was a great scholar and writer who could present difficult subjects clearly, concisely, and enjoyably. I owe him a great debt for much of my early education in subjects I might have otherwise avoided because the writer couldn't present the subject as interestingly as Sahakian could.
Although the first chapter does give a very cleanly written summary of the mechanics of epistemology: listing many of the criteria of truth, the problems of truth, and the main fallacies of reasoning, it is still selective rather than exhaustive (category errors for instance are not mentioned). But most egregiously, the essential philosophical definitions needed to understand the explanations are not given here: but are "assumed to be understood" by the reader.
Things actually get worse from there:
It is as if the rest of the content of the book was carelessly gleaned from more robust sources. Almost all of the pieces are just too cryptic, shallow and poorly written to be of any lasting value. And some of the sections, such as the one on dialectic materialism, are simply wrong. The discussions on the existence of God are also muddled as well as incomplete.
After this, nothing about the book can be trusted.
The last chapter, chapter six, makes a valiant effort to try to save the volume by discussing philosophies by type, and here, except for the philosophy of science, the main schools, including Phenomenology and Existentialism, are included, but again the discussions are not done in any depth that would reflect serious understanding of the substance in question, or of the context of the times in which the ideas evolved.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased the book and misplaced it, so glad to have I back in my library!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Great tool to have if you are serious about learning philosophy.Published 7 months ago by Mad_Spender
Well worth the read, from the seasoned philosophy student to the beginner. Read with I was 12, and still read it/ use it for reference today. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Kevin Brown
This is a very, very ambitious little book, briefly surveying an enormous amount of material. With regard to brief surveys, I believe that Ralph McInerny's "A Student's Guide To... Read morePublished on August 28, 2011 by Joseph P. Tevington
Here is a question! WHAT GIVES THE ATHEISTS AND MARXISTS THE RIGHT TO SEIZE THE WHOLE FIELD OF THE STUDY OF PHILOSOPHY ... AND CLAIM IT FOR THEIR OWN???? Lock it up ... Read morePublished on June 25, 2010 by Mario J. Machado
I've long had an interest in philosophy but like many others, I've always been a tad intimidated at trying to understand even one philospher's ideas, much less many of them. Read morePublished on September 3, 2009 by T. Lee
Intelligence is not limited to an era. Ideas are not always original or modern. Concepts on human behavior and predicted actions are as ancient as thinking itself. Read morePublished on February 24, 2009 by Dave C.
The concept was good: a short introduction to philosophy by summarizing the key ideas of key philosophers. Unfortunately, it failed in a couple ways. Read morePublished on February 9, 2009 by Brent Franklin