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Story of Philosophy Paperback – June 27, 2001
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From School Library Journal
Marsha S. Holden, Highland Community College, Freeport, IL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have often read books (e.g. books by Peter Drucker) that refer to various philosophers and their writings and I typically felt I had an inadequate understanding since I had very little knowledge of philosophy. So I borrowed this book from a library and enjoyed it so much that I decided to purchase it. I especially like the way the book is organized into small, easy to read chapters with many graphics, and short sidebars. Magee also does an excellent job of tying the philosophers into the context of the art, religion, and history of each period (in a basic, not too detailed way).
STRENGTHS: Easy to read; very well organized; lots of supporting graphics (e.g. photos of period art) and sidebars; excellent index and list of suggested further readings for each philosopher; just the right level of detail for an introduction.
WEAKNESSES: Academics or those more knowledgable of philosophy may find the book too simple, or even childish (easy to read and lots of pictures).
WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK: Those who do not have an existing knowledge base of philosophy and who are looking for an easy to read general introduction, overview, or history of philosophy.
This book makes a fine touchstone to remind one of certain schools of philosophy or to learn about the most famous thinkers of western civilization. This book is far too slender to include some of the more intricate ideas or lesser known individuals who have nonetheless made contributions to the field. Regardless, this attractive book makes a good reference tool when navigating major trends of thought.
Has anyone ever asked you: "Yes, but what do we actually mean by freedom?" If we are all free to do exactly what we want, will that not lead to the loss of freedom for some.
These types of questions intrigue me to no end. Denis Diderot said that freedom has no meaning. Jean-Jacques Rousseau said that man was born free and everywhere he is in chains. He also believed man was naturally good. Immanuel Kant seems to disagree and says that out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made.
When people start to talk like this, they are beginning to think philosophically. They embark on a journey of thought that opens the mind and allows us to see the mind of another. You will find a soul mate philosopher within the pages for sure. How you think could in fact be linked to the thoughts of a philosopher whose views are presented here.
"Philosophy begins in wonder." -Plato
The Story of Philosophy will entice your mind into reading the entire work! Not, however in one sitting, but as the need arises. First, I wanted to see if I would actually use this book in discussions...and sure enough, within a few days I had already discussed humanism at a discussion board. It was helpful to know how humanism has evolved from the philosophy of Epicurus. As in: "Is he (God) willing to prevent evil, but not able?" or "Is he both able and willing?" .....then "Whence then is evil?" They note that the to us now, Epicureanism is very similar to the liberal humanism of the 20th century.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book arrived in great shape. Haven't read most of it, seeing as it is just a reference book for one of my classes, but so far I am enjoying it!Published 17 days ago by Brendan Conard
A very good overview of the history of philosophy for the layperson.Published 6 months ago by Lynn Arthur Lundeen
Bryan Magee's broad overview is a perfect introduction to the wide wonderful world of Philosophy. It's a great reference tool. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jennifer
Fairly Simplistic, but if it Attracts People to Philosophy...then it's a good thing. I'd recommend it to all potential students of philosophy. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Roman Wolf (Michael)