The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books 0th Edition
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About the Author
James Garvey is Secretary of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, UK. He is the author of The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books and The Ethics of Climate Change, also published by Continuum.
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Top international reviews
Garvey places each of the 20 works in question within the context of the author's life and their greater body of work and also discusses the impact of each book both on the field of philosophy and our understanding of society, morality, science, religion (and more) in general. Garvey's humour, clarity and engaging style, combined with the good structure and pace of each chapter, make this a very easy book to dip in and out of. Despite the concise nature of this book, the author effortlessly conveys a great deal of information and plenty of grand ideas and arguments that these philosophical works introduce. While clearly enthusiastic about the genius of those responsible for these works, Garvey always presents objective questions and counter-arguments that encourage the reader not just to sit back in awe, but to actively question the original arguments and logic.
In fact my only criticism of this book is probably one of the book's greatest strengths in that, after every chapter, I invariably wanted to find out even more about the material being discussed and continue the philosophical arguments that had been introduced. As a result (and I'm aware this may act as a warning to some), I should admit that I heard myself quoting Plato's Republic in a bar shortly after reading the first chapter. All those present who knew me were as surprised as I was, not only to hear these words leaving my lips, but also that the quote was actually relevant and reasonably well-informed. High praise indeed.
In summary, I would highly recommend this book as an enjoyable and informative introductory text for anyone from the complete philosophical novices up to about 1st year undergraduate students.