Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Subscribe & Save Martha Stewart American Made Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Outdoors Gift Guide on Tikes
An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy 2nd Edition

15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1405141796
ISBN-10: 1405141794
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $6.50
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy new
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
List Price: $34.95 Save: $7.49 (21%)
27 New from $26.88
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
An Illustrated Brief Hist... has been added to your Cart
More Buying Choices
27 New from $26.88 25 Used from $12.22
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks
$27.46 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy
  • +
  • Writing To Reason: A Companion for Philosophy Students and Instructors
Total price: $46.80
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


Praise for the previous edition:

“The 22 chapters of this history are lucidly written and with enough humour in them to cheer up the educated general reader even in the midst of the most arid of philosophical discussions.” Times Higher Education Supplement

"This is simply a jolly good read, with pithy historical and biographical scene-setters, authoritative accounts of how successive philosophers have contributed to the development of Western thought, and often brilliant single-sentence summaries." Church Times

"A richly detailed, critical look at philosophy, displaying both Kenny's love for philosophical engagement and for good history...Kenny's style is unpretentious, effective, and at times wonderfully informal and amiable." Review of Metaphysics

From the Back Cover

This illustrated edition of Sir Anthony Kenny’s acclaimed survey of Western philosophy offers the most concise and compelling story of the complete development of philosophy available.

Spanning 2,500 years of thought, An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy provides essential coverage of the most influential philosophers of the Western world, among them Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, Darwin, Freud, Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein.

Replete with over 60 illustrations - ranging from Dufresnoy’s The Death of Socrates, through to the title page of Thomas More’s Utopia, portraits of Hobbes and Rousseau, photographs of Charles Darwin and Bertrand Russell, Freud’s own sketch of the Ego and the Id, and Wittgenstein’s Austrian military identity card - this lucid and masterful work is ideal for anyone with an interest in Western thought.


Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (August 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405141794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405141796
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Andrew N. Carpenter on July 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Anthony Kenny's magnificent new history of philosophy is a remarkable achievement. The book is accessible yet sophisticated, concise yet comprehensive.
Its main weaknesses are Kenny's sometimes surprising and dramatic editorial decisions and his periodic idiosyncratic application of twentieth-century analytic philosophy. Also, Kenny provides no references for the quotations he uses. Happily, these flaws take away little from the stupendous success of Kenny's history.
The book consists of twenty-two chapters occupying 345 pages, followed by an afterword, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive index. The chapters, which range from "Philosophy in its Infancy" to "the Philosophy of Wittgenstein," include detailed discussions of nearly all canonical philosophers, brief discussions a few non-canonical philosophers (e.g., Hypatia, Bonaventure, Marsilius of Padua), and numerous extremely helpful discussions of the interaction between western philosophy and many non-philosophical figures and institutions. Philosophy students of all levels will benefit from this book, and their instructors will find much to admire and enjoy in it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gene C. Bammel on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anthony Kenny, who deserves the title of greatest historian of philosophy of the twentieth century, added a few choice pictures to his "Brief History of Western Philosophy." The text itself presents accurate and perceptive summaries of the greatest figures in philosophical history, and the pictures, some of them rare, make the text more enjoyable. This is an excellent, brief history of western philosophy. Highly recommended, for those who do not want to tackle either Copleston's 9 volumes, or Kenny's four. Superb.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Anthony Kenny is, in my opinion, a first-rank philosopher. He is also a very good writer. He writes in a nice conversational way, yet has a remarkable skill at knowing, and sufficently explaining, those areas that will give the average reader a bit of difficulty. I bought this book yesterday and have made my way through quite a bit. Kenny's background gives him a particular competence at writing a history of philosophy (he first studied Aristotelian-scholastic philosophy at the Gregorianum in Rome, then analytical-linguistic philosopy at Oxford University). I already have a degree in philosophy (w/ honours), and I only wish it had been at the feet of a master like Kenny (btw, he is now Warden of Rhodes House, Oxford U., formerly Master of Balliol). We are in Dr. Kenny's debt for anything he writes, especially with this latest work.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A curious mind on October 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
This work is ideal for those interested in philosophy but who have been previously intimidated by the profuse professional jargon of material on this topic.

The most influential minds, from philosophy's earliest beginnings to Wittgenstein, are covered in a compact, readable, yet highly scholarly manner. Readers must remember that philosophy is an unbelievably vast area that is continually evolving, and that one's personal affiliations and beliefs influence one's perception of it. No single book can cover each and every philosophical concept, nor can a single volume please every reader in its space allocations. While certain subjects might have been covered more thoroughly, do not let inevitable restrictions prevent you from reading this work. It will broaden your horizons.

'A Brief History of Western Philosophy' lays the groundwork for any further explorations, providing both the novice and the professional with invaluable information - in short, it is an ideal and indispensable reference work.

Reading this work will give a thorough overview of philosophy, and, in my opinion, is one of the best written so far. Intrepid minds can gladly go on to do in-depth research on particular figures, something that this book will certainly inspire.

Perhaps I am especially partial to this book because of my personal interest in the thought of Kant and Wittgenstein, philosophers given particular attention here. In fact, the chapter on Kant is one worth reading for any student in the area - it presents the ideas very cohesively.

In response to Mr.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jonas Vestlund on January 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I find this history of philosophy very fun and interesting to read. Without forgetting the importance of ideas Kenny also gives a background in the corresponding culture and society.
Jesus and Freud are unusual but very interesting choices and especially the part about Freud I find very good.
Given the importance of the ideas of Hume for twentieth century philosophy it is a little bit strange to give Hume 6.5 pages and Kant 21 pages. But Kant is an important but difficult philosopher and perhaps one should be grateful for every help one can get when it comes to understanding him.
As a student of theoretical philosophy in the analytical tradition four things makes me very happy:
1. Stoic logic is mentioned and explained.
2. Not just the Monadology of Leibniz are treated but also Leibniz as a great logic mind. Maybe one day Leibniz will be remembered more as a great logic mind that inspired Russell and others, than as the builder of the sometimes strange and weird feeling system of monads.
3. The logic and logical analysis of Frege and Russell are given one chapter.
4. Twentieth century philosophy is exemplified not with Sartre or Heidegger as with some Norwegian history's of philosophy, but with Wittgenstein.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy
This item: An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy
Price: $27.46
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: utopia of rules, aristotle predicate logic, the philosophy of history patrick