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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living

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A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living Cover

ISBN13: 9780062074249
ISBN10: 0062074245
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the timeless wisdom of the ancient Greeks to Christianity, the Enlightenment, existentialism, and postmodernism, Luc Ferry’s instant classic brilliantly and accessibly explains the enduring teachings of philosophy—including its profound relevance to modern daily life and its essential role in achieving happiness and living a meaningful life. This lively journey through the great thinkers will enlighten every reader, young and old.

Review:

"This scintillating pop-philosophy survey, a bestseller in France, brushes off the cobwebs and gives the subject compelling immediacy. Sorbonne professor Ferry (What Is a Good Life?) offers a thematic introduction to continental philosophy constructed around the biggest questions: how can we lead a meaningful life knowing that we will die but without the consolation of religion? (Ferry denies Christianity the status of a real philosophy, but considers its intellectual legacy so fundamental that the book is in many ways a search for an atheistic Christianity.) The author's episodic treatment starts with the Stoic concept of man as a fragment of a harmonious cosmos, moves on to Descartes, Rousseau, and Kant and their establishment of philosophy based on reason and individual freedom, climaxes with Nietzsche's demolition of modernist certitudes — a stance he finds both thrilling and unsatisfying — and ponders the abiding need to embrace a world we must ultimately lose. Ferry has a knack for translating difficult concepts into laymen's terms; he even makes Heidegger's opaque mysticism not just coherent but actually relevant to the global economy. Neophytes and scholars alike will find in this superb primer proof that philosophy belongs at the center of life." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"For everyone from the man in the street to the man in the Acropolis — A fine introduction to philosophy and its fundamental relevance to living a meaningful life." Thomas Cathcut and Daniel Klein New York Times bestselling authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar

Review:

"A philosophical survival kit, in which the reader will find brilliant ideas to help them think better and live better." L'Express

Review:

"No dry academic, Ferry restores to philosophy a compelling urgency." Booklist (Starred Review)

Synopsis:

French superstar philosopher Luc Ferry encapsulates an enlightening treatise of pop-philosophy in a lively narrative of Western thought—explaining how the history of philosophy can teach us how to live better lives today. This blockbuster better living guide has already sold nearly a half a million copies in Europe; now it is available worldwide in an exciting, highly readable translation: A Brief History of Thought. Thomas Cathcut & Daniel Klein, authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, call Ferrys thrilling opus “a fine introduction to philosophy and its fundamental relevance to living a meaningful life—for everyone from the man in the Acropolis to the man in the street.”

About the Author

Luc Ferry, PhD, is a philosopher at the University of Paris. Professor Ferry has been awarded the Prix Médicis, Prix Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, and Prix Aujourdhui. He lives in Paris.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Karen Thompson, January 28, 2012 (view all comments by Karen Thompson)
In the midst of these on-going campaign histrionics, it was an enormous pleasure, with a calming effect, to be entertained educated and enlightened -- three aspects of the best theatre so like an evening with a wonderful friend-- by an author in Luc Ferry who respects the Reader, and wants to genuinely communicate, drawing us into the conversation. Philosophy has been, for me, a cornerstone in reading fiction and non-fiction all my life; the rather recent development of the field called Psychology of Literature has given how I've always regarded fiction reading a shape in which I can relate to what others are contemplating. A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living is wonderful in that there is no dissembling, no conspiring to be obtuse, no ridiculous lies and prejudices presented as truth that you must swallow or be considered stupid, unpatriotic, amoral. The totally haphazard language of politics connecting arbitrary soundbites into supposedly meaningful whole thoughts gets shown up grandly by the plain-speaking of Ferry about the most complex and profound matters: how we can make life make sense. I hope everyone reads this book. It helps you understand even what you think you already understood.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Robert J Moniker, January 23, 2012 (view all comments by Robert J Moniker)
A fine overview of philosophy, this book shows how it matters for us now.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780062074249
Author:
Ferry, Luc
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
General Philosophy
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Subject:
Philosophy-Surveys
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20111231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 x 0.684685 in 7.6 oz

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Product details 304 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780062074249 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This scintillating pop-philosophy survey, a bestseller in France, brushes off the cobwebs and gives the subject compelling immediacy. Sorbonne professor Ferry (What Is a Good Life?) offers a thematic introduction to continental philosophy constructed around the biggest questions: how can we lead a meaningful life knowing that we will die but without the consolation of religion? (Ferry denies Christianity the status of a real philosophy, but considers its intellectual legacy so fundamental that the book is in many ways a search for an atheistic Christianity.) The author's episodic treatment starts with the Stoic concept of man as a fragment of a harmonious cosmos, moves on to Descartes, Rousseau, and Kant and their establishment of philosophy based on reason and individual freedom, climaxes with Nietzsche's demolition of modernist certitudes — a stance he finds both thrilling and unsatisfying — and ponders the abiding need to embrace a world we must ultimately lose. Ferry has a knack for translating difficult concepts into laymen's terms; he even makes Heidegger's opaque mysticism not just coherent but actually relevant to the global economy. Neophytes and scholars alike will find in this superb primer proof that philosophy belongs at the center of life." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "For everyone from the man in the street to the man in the Acropolis — A fine introduction to philosophy and its fundamental relevance to living a meaningful life." Thomas Cathcut and Daniel Klein New York Times bestselling authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar
"Review" by , "A philosophical survival kit, in which the reader will find brilliant ideas to help them think better and live better."
"Review" by , "No dry academic, Ferry restores to philosophy a compelling urgency."
"Synopsis" by , French superstar philosopher Luc Ferry encapsulates an enlightening treatise of pop-philosophy in a lively narrative of Western thought—explaining how the history of philosophy can teach us how to live better lives today. This blockbuster better living guide has already sold nearly a half a million copies in Europe; now it is available worldwide in an exciting, highly readable translation: A Brief History of Thought. Thomas Cathcut & Daniel Klein, authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, call Ferrys thrilling opus “a fine introduction to philosophy and its fundamental relevance to living a meaningful life—for everyone from the man in the Acropolis to the man in the street.”
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