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The World's Great Philosophers Paperback – January 27, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0631231462 ISBN-10: 0631231463 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"A wonderful collection of discussions written by major commentators on a diverse and wide-ranging set of philosophers. A superb sourcebook including helpful bibliographies." Michael Hodges, Vanderbilt University <!--end-->

"These expert and accessible essays range very widely, covering not only the familiar Anglo-American and Continental figures but thinkers from the Eastern tradition as well. Among the delights of the book are the many happy juxtapositions its alphabetical ordering presents. Thus the profound metaphysician Spinoza appears next to the profound anti-metaphysician Wittgenstein, and then one essay later we are given Zhuangzi – more familiarly, Chuang Tzu – a sage of an entirely different kind. Altogether a fascinating and enlightening collection." John V. Canfield, University of Toronto

Book Description

The Worlds Great Philosophers provides an introduction to a selection of the most profound and influential thinkers in the history of philosophy. The 40 essays in this volume, written by an outstanding international assembly of scholars, provide cogent and accessible discussions of key philosophers from both Eastern and Western philosophical traditions including Aquinas, Buddha, Confucius, Derrida, Heidegger, Kant, Laozi, Marx, Nietzsche, Plato, Sankara, and Wittgenstein. Together, the essays convey the historical panorama of philosophical thought on the nature of reality, the human condition, and basic human values.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (January 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631231463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631231462
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,500,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Trott on January 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was so disappointed when I started reading this book.

This is a collection of end-of-term-papers written by academics to impress other academics.

Each essay is a litany of name-checks to prove the author knows their subject, and hopefully gets a good grade.

This is exactly why you shouldn't study philosophy at university.

It's an excercise in turning something so thrilling into something so boring.

For something exciting, illuminating, and intriguing on this subject you'd be much better reading Bertrand Russell's 'History Of Western Philosophy'

The editors of this book would do well to remember Democritus' quote, 'The mind isn't a vessel to be filled. It's a fire to be ignited.'
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. P. Ledbetter on October 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always enjoy reading philosophy and about the truly historic and yes proven great philosophers of ages past. I am not so inclined to find too many modern day thinkers as "great" at anything.

I am absolutely sure that the writings and opinions of many included in this book mean a great deal to others so inclinded to spend their time on such issues. But the universe is, whether some want to admit it or not, much more black and white than shades of gray. Most philosophers do nothing more than hide this most basic of truths.

It has always amazed me how so-called great intellectuals and "philosophers" spend their energy and time contemplating matters and issues that produce not one ounce of good for the common man or women in this world. They contemplate and debate issues of the mind that are meaningless when dealing with the realities of life, our existence and our place in the universe and the here and now.

Would that they spent as much of their time, energy and mental abilities on issues that affect mankind on a day to day basis and not on issues like "are we really physical beings or not" or "do we know, what we know, when we know, what we know". "I think...therefore I am" kinda summed up all this rediculous contemplation about other alternatives.

What an utter waste of talent for many of these brainy people to spend their lives wondering if a chair is a chair if you are not looking at it or what is right and wrong and can you tell the difference. Aquinas and others already answered thrdr questions. Perhaps we would not be in such a perilous state as we are today if people did not keep trying to reinvent philosophy to fit their own confused ideals.
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