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Customer Review

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful introduction..., June 13, 2000
This review is from: The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers (Mass Market Paperback)
I usually look down on philosophical "collections" because they tend to give an inadequate picture of any single philosopher and they also tend to lack cohesion. But this book is not just a collection - it is more like a narrative. The name "The STORY of Philosophy" indicates the focus, which is not just to present the work of various philosophers but to weave them together. Durant's choice of philosophers may seem to be unreasonable, but it serves his purpose. He presents a wide range of thought, from ancient Greek to modern. His analysis is always deep - his insights are fascinating. His understanding of the nuances of these thinkers is not in question. Each section presents Durant's analysis alongside material quoted directly from the philosopher being discussed. In this way both the original material and thoughtful analysis are given. In broader terms, Durant brings all this diverse thought together. He describes the progression of thought through careful comparison and contrast and gives each of these philosophers a position in reference to one another and to a unified picture. Each of these thinkers is put into a broader context than simply their own writings; parallels between these philosophers emerge alongside a portryal of their historical significance. All in all a real achievement and a worthwhile read for almost anyone (as an introduction to philosophy or as a valuable new perspective on material you're already familiar with). Recommended...
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