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A Great Survey--"One Hundred Philosophers"
on January 16, 2005
One Hundred Philosophers: The Life And Work Of The World's Greatest Thinkers
By Peter J. King
Quarto/Barron's Educational Series
ISBN # 0-7641-2791-8
This strong basic reference type text opens with a brief introduction that explains how the author sees the realm of Philosophy, the main divisions in Philosophy, and what he is attempting to cover in this book, which spans ancient times to the 20th century. Of course, there are limitations as to what could be covered and the author makes his case as to why certain persons made the cut and others did not.
What follows are the various sections detailing periods in time starting with the Ancient World 700 B. C. E. -400 B.C.E. A timeline complete with illustrations and pictures as well as dates is given for the relevant points in history within and without the realm of Philosophy. Then, in page summary format, each Philosopher is listed, with a date of life, main interests, influences, influenced, and an explanation of what is known about the Philosopher, the thinking of the Philosopher and the role of the Philosopher at that time.
This same formula continues through out the nearly 200-page book. The 100th Philosopher, Peter Singer, is covered at the end of the twentieth century section followed by a comprehensive and detailed two-page section suggesting other reading. This section leads into a glossary of terms used in the book, which is followed by an index.
This book obviously can't cover everyone to great depth and doesn't try to do so. Instead, it serves more as an instruction to a wide range of thought and would be especially helpful not only to the laymen but for students considering study in the world of Philosophy. Not only does it give some understanding of each Philosopher covered, it provides avenues of exploration and learning for those interested and deserves a place in the home library.
This review previously appeared online at the Blue Iris Journal Blog.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2005