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From Plato To Nietzsche Hardcover – May 21, 2011
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-- Higher Education Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Here are the great thoughts and ideas of the Western mind, selected and explained with magnificent precision by an eminent scholar.
It is an illuminating portrait of man's intellectual and moral struggle to understand the world and the meaning of human life and destiny.
Nietzsche --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
It should be noted that this book contains the complete text of the original hardback edition, and was printed in Great Britain in 1957, by The English Universities Press Ltd., under the title of "GUIDE BOOK TO WESTERN THOUGHT".
The author, Edgar Leonard Allen is the author of "Kierkegaard: His Life and Thought", "Existentialism from Within and Guides to the Thought of Barth, Berdyaev, Brunner, Heim, Jaspers, Maritain and Neibuhr".
I liked this book for the coverage provided of those Mr. Allen chose to discourse on, even though they are not just Western Philosophers well known as such. Luther, Aquinas, Augustine, Marx and Nietzsche are considered to be religious in nature, but I found that his information on them was valuable just the same. I consider this little book to be a classic and can be enjoyed by any scholar or person who wants to expand their knowledge of "Masters".
Philosophical writings, assumed to be at the core of western thought, evolve from a concrete historical setting with origins in Greece, Rome, and Jerusalem. The Greek intellectual power, which still amazes us, was lacking the material we have stacked today to practically exercise it. Socrates, whose dedication was to careful reasoning, is the prime intellectual and influential thinker in the entire Western enterprise. Socrates employed the Sophists logical reason for the pursuit of truth. Athens put Socrates on trial, for undermining tradition, in his venture of genuine knowledge. Plato's views of truth proceeded from Socrates moral vision and the sophists' relativism, endorsing them with the study of mathematics.
Pondering Western Thought?
The thought epoques progress as four connected links From Plato to Nietzsche: Plato/Aristotle, Augustine/aquinas/Luther, Decartes/Kant/Rousseau, and Marx/Nietzche. The coaching author advice is always valid, if you really intend to teach yourself, "pass over at the first reading any sections that prove reluctant to yield up their meaning and to return to them later..." Since these thinkers progress within a tradition, they are often directly related to each other. Within the reading of a particular philosopher, it is interesting to notice the logic in which the knowledge proceeds and thought in one era links up with material from a preceding one.
In his final appraisal review, Allen seemed uncertain on the outcome of the conflicting trends and which will prevail.Read more ›
However, I also got a bit too much of the author's own opinions and way too much of his own bias.
E.L Allen is a christian and states that pretty overtly when discussing Nietzsche. The book ends up focusing entirely around christianity and every author he discusses has to relate to that. When he did this for Plato and Aristotle I figured it was just to make way for Augustine and Aquinas, presenting his 10 authors as a continuum... but alas.
The first casualty of his Christian obsession is in the selection of philosophers. With a mere 10 philosophers set to represent all of western philosophy, it seems absurd that three of them (Luthur, Aquinas and Augustine) are only really relevant to Christian thought and have little to do with western philosphy as a whole. Perhaps a case could be made for Aquinas or Augustine, but Luthur's inclusion is frankly absurd. Would not Kierkagaard, Locke, Spinoza, Hegel, Schelling or any other number of central philosophers have been more useful?
Undoubtably. Christian thought is important to Western THought in general, but when surveying western philosohpy its better to discuss it within the context of Descartes, Kant et al than bring in such a useless thinker as Luthur.
The second great problem is that the author is quite incabable of objectively reading Marx or Nietzsche, the two non-Christians included who aren't ancient Greeks. In fact, his sections on both revolve around a standard logical fallacy: the ad-hominem.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is printed in a very odd fashion. It is almost as if someone xeroxed an original copy of the book and sold it at an exorbitant price.Published 8 months ago by TVM27