Beauty altText This Week in Books Hallo nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Learn more about Amazon Music Unlimited Electronics Gift Guide $69.99 Grocery Handmade Tote Bags Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon outlanders3premiere outlanders3premierealtText Watch Outlander on Starz with Amazon Channels outlanders3premierealtText Watch Outlander on Starz with Amazon Channels  Three new members of the Echo family All-New Fire 7 Kids Edition $79.99. Limited-time offer. All-New Kindle Oasis GNO Shop Now HTL17_gno



on June 8, 2009
If you're looking for an exhaustive philosophy text, this book will not suffice. However, it serves as a pretty manageable overview of some of the great minds of our history. You'll get just enough information to spark your interest about a particular philospher....or if you're trying to recall someone's major works- it's a resource that's useful without being cumbersome to read. At times, the ideas may be rather subjective, but the author does a good job of summarizing the general consensus of the cannon.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 10, 2017
Great book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 22, 2012
I saw this book on display at a doctor's office and began to read it. That did it! That was enough to pique my interest further and so I ordered my own copy. It has been many years since I studied the philosophers in college at The College of William and Mary and therefore, I found this book was a perfect "refresher" for me. The biographies are short but to the point and quite interesting. The visual graphics are outstanding. I plan to purchase this book for my college-bound grandson. In the meantime, I enjoy picking up the book, making my personal selections, and enjoying every page with such delight. A priceless purchase!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 3, 2013
It was strongly suggested by the prof of Philosophy at the continuing care community where I live and take classes through Prince George's County MD Community College. It is easily digested and serves as an intro in case I am interested in learning more about a particular philosopher. The book arrived speedily and in virtually perfect condition.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 6, 2015
Great book for 9th-10th graders. Super easy to read...explains each philosopher very well without overdoing it or being too complicated. Simplifies each philosopher with only the basic points that you want to know.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
HALL OF FAMEon March 11, 2008
There are books which take a small part of a very large reality and represent it in a good and fair way. And there are other books like this one which take very complex realities and use a small sample of the reality in question to show how unfair such a method can be. I will take one example from this book. There is a chapter here on the political philosopher Hannah Arendt. Hannah Arendt is most well known for her work on the origins of Totalitarianism. But her most comprehensive philosophical effort is her work 'The Human Condition'. What this book does take what is arguably Arendt's least philosophical work her coverage of the Eichmann trial and make that stand for her work as a whole. It is simply bad judgment.
There are other problems with the work as a whole. The small biographical sketches appended are truly too small to really give a fair idea of the life of the philosopher involved.
If one is looking for quick understandings of the work of great philosophers I believe one is essentially contradicting what the philosophical enterprise is all about.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 24, 2014
At the beginning, I hesitated. A casual book for all great philosophers? Is that possible? If you know philosophy reasonably well, then this book is not for you. If you wish to find thorough discussion of some these philosophers, then you should look other books. But if you have not studied philosophy but want to explore thoughts of great philosophers in the history, this book will be an excellent starting point. As the author mentioned in the intro, he did make some judgement calls. So I will use another book for reference. All in all, the book does an excellent job in what it was claimed to do.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2010
The Great Philosophers is, as has been stated, not an expansive look into the philosophical teachings. However, as a simple look into the lives of many great philosophers, it is wonderfully designed, with a few pages on every philosopher, giving their views on one of their major theories, and furthermore providing arguments for and against. But the major feature of this book is the writing style. The philosopher's theories are explained in very clear English, and supplements the philosopher's major works (which is recommended to you within the text) rather nicely for people having trouble grasping the deeper concepts.

I highly recommend this book as a portal into philosophy. It's fascinating, simple, and while not completely expansive it is also very nonthreatening. My only complaint is that there are quite a few philosophers which had to be omitted: Though really, that's just another way of saying please make a volume 2.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 2, 2009
I purchased this book hoping to have a good reference guide on various philosophers and their arguments from different eras. What I ended up with was brief summaries that fixated on small samples of their works. I felt the author was biased in his critique on any theistic philosophers written about and very lenient towards secular philosophers. At first I thought the critique was originally made from other contemporary philosophers with opposing views, but it turns out that the critique is mainly the opinion of the author himself. I discovered this by doing a search on the author, finding his blog, and finding that he posted excerpts on the blog to get opinions on it, ironically, the excerpts he posted were the ones critiquing theistic philosophers. In the end, it does have valid useful information, I just wish it was a little more explanatory with a neutral presentation.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 2, 2011
I bought this book because it was simple and looked like it could be a good introduction to some great ideas in history for my kids. It was in a local book store and I thumbed thru pages to get a general idea and like I said, with big pictures and short chapters, I thought this could be in my kids' collection.

When I had the time later on, I read it more carefully. Something did not feel quite right for some reason. I felt like, with every philosophers, the author was trying to make a point of his own to the point that the current philosopher became almost irrelevant -- sort of instrumental for his own objective and reading the book started to become somewhat a weird experience.

I sat back and carefully went back to the chapters one more time and underlined the stuff that I thought sounded a bit out of place. When I looked at them as a whole, the picture started to appear. Then and only then, I went online and googled his name and there I found out about him and how he was actively pursuing his ideal, which is to promote the idea that belief in a Creator should be eradicated from today's "modern" human thought.

Inside the book, for instance, he almost always focuses on the ideas of that particular philosopher that emphasize an atheistic point of view. When the philosopher happened to have somewhat questioning attitude toward an atheistic point of view, he openly ridicules them and comes up with a counter attack and presents it as if his idea is widely accepted by the intellectual community. He does not present an open minded discussion about it and instead abruptly says that what he says is true and all the others are wrong. I found this quite strange and disturbing. It did not sound professional and scientific.

Disbelief in a god could be very well his conviction but to promote this agenda under the disguise of a book title like this without mentioning it openly anywhere in the book seemed quite sneaky and insulting to my intelligence. That's why I decided to write this review to show my disapproval of his behavior.

If you want to say that believers are wrong, write a book and present your arguments. That's fine. But if you are trying to do this in a book called "... Lives And Ideas Of History's Greatest Thinkers", that is, to me, a little like hitting below the belt.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse