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World Philosophies: A Historical Introduction Paperback – September 10, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Cooper is an imaginative philosopher?the author of Metaphor (Blackwell, 1986), the best book on its subject. He has written one of the few histories of philosophy that gives nearly equal time to non-Western thought, and he has traced the main ideas without getting bogged down in detail or lapsing into vapid generalizations. Ultimately, Cooper's task is impossible. Concentration on canonical thinkers who seem to appear miraculously, the major sin of historians of philosophy, is inevitable. But he does put them into contexts that make sense, and he does try to provide some continuity. Inevitably, too, some figures are slighted. McTaggart does not even appear in the bibliography. Descartes still figures as the mad dualist attacked by British philosophers of the 1950s. But Cooper's treatment is generally sound, and his account of Eastern philosophies is particularly heartening because it recognizes recent Indian and Chinese philosophy and avoids the orientalist antiquarianism that mars so much good writing on these subjects. This is a good book for ordinary readers who want to get the drift of philosophy.?Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘A multicultural feast of ideas and arguments! In language that is expressive, clear and often humorous, David Cooper has written a compelling history of philosophy, covering as it does not only the major figures in Western thought but also the main trends in non-Western philosophy.' Robert L. Arrington, Georgia State University <!--end-->

‘By opening the door to cross-cultural comparison, Cooper has let in a draught that may blow away the whole house of cards, and uncover the parts of philosophy that the histories never reached.' Jonathan Rée, Times Higher Education Supplement


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 580 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (September 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631232613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631232612
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.7 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've checked this book out about a million times at our school library, and just can't get enough of it. Until I scrounge up some pennies to actually get a copy for myself, I guess I'll have to continue "stealing" this book from the hands and eyes of other potential readers (hehehe).

Now let me first say this, because Amazon reviewers sometimes give bad reviews to things based on nonsense (like giving a CS text one star because "they didn't like it" and don't even read or understand fundamental CS basics). This is a book on PHI-LO-SO-PHY, so if you're not into philosophy, logic, that kind of thing, it's not the book for you. And you don't even have to "be into" philosophy to enjoy it.

The second edition of "World Philosophies: An Historical Introduction" (I know you're supposed to underline book titles, but Amazon doesn't let you. Sorry.) covers your more academic philosophies like Confucianism, skepticism, existentialism, etc., but does an excellent job in shining light on the schools and overall educating the reader. The author also wrote the book in chronological historical order, beginning with earlier Indian and Asian philosophies, and ending with modern Western philosophies from the twentieth century.

I was also very impressed with the author's coverage of Stoicism in Chapter 4 (Ancient Greek philosophies). Although the coverage is minimal, I think it will definitely prime the mind of attuned readers to find out more about the Stoics, primarily through excellent books like the "Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters" by Seneca himself. Stoicism is a very intesting but oft-overlooked school of thought considering the usual coverage that other ancient Greek philosophies get.
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By Lin20 on March 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Condition of the book? Awesome! Shipping was fast, very dependable. Ordering from amazon is one of my favorite site to order books.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rafe Champion on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a very ambitious book, large enough to provide potentially useful information about philosophies from India, China and Greece to modern times, including non-Western philosophies. The author noted that such a venture would be very rash without the assistance of critically-minded friends and he acknowledged several people commented on individual chapters.

"My greatest debt, however, is to Robert L. Arrington and Anthony O'Hear, both of whom...devoured `the whole damn thing'. Anthony O'Hear is a serious Popper scholar and the author of the first book devoted to Popper's work (1980), so any references to Popper in this book should be especially informative and accurate. In view of the "turns" that Popper introduced, the reader approaches the chapter on Twentieth-century Western Philosophies with great expectations.

The chapter begins with "Philosophies of life" (12 pages) treating the vitalism of Bergson, the process philosophy of Whitehead and some reactions to science and technology by Dilthey and Spengler. Then "Phenomenology, Hermeneutics and Existentialism" (14 pages) with Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Gadamer. Next is "Logical Atomist and Logical Positivism"(16 pages) covering Russell, Wittgenstein of The Tractatus, Logical Positivism and then Philosophy, Ethics and Religion treated in the light of positivism. The final two sections are "Naturalisms" (17 pages) and "Postmodernism" (14 pages).

Logical Positivism took the story up to the war and the author noted that after the war it became much harder to identify dominant movements due to the collapse of positivism and the huge increase in the amount of work in progress. He reported that his 1993 Directory of American Philosophers listed some 11,000 teachers, 150 societies and 140 journals.
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