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A Short History of Philosophy

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Philosophy is a singularly expansive enterprise, a fascinating outgrowth of a human nature that demands we question who and why we are. In A Short History of Philosophy, the most accessible concise portrait of philosophy in seventy years, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins meet the challenge of accurately and engagingly describing it all, revelling in philosophy as "the art of wonder," the search for meaning, a gripping, dramatic endeavor.

Here is the entire history of philosophy--ancient, medieval, and modern, from cultures both East and West--described in its historical and cultural context. "The concepts that lie at the heart of philosophy antedate history by thousands of years," the authors write in their introduction, noting that the ancient concept of immortality, prehistorical ideas about magic, and the complex set of beliefs implied by the practice of human sacrifice all exhibit philosophic underpinnings. Solomon and Higgins chart the profound development of philosophical thought around the world and through the centuries from the first stirrings of speculation and wonder to the rise of distinct (and often antithetical) philosophical traditions, moral constructs, and religious practices. From the early Greek and Asian philosophers and the mythological traditions that preceded them, to the great Greek, Indic, and Chinese philosophers, to the drama of the great religious philosophies, the authors have spun a marvelous tale that leads to the development and decline of modernity. Along with the major characters, such as Aristotle, Kant, and Confucius, Solomon and Higgins draw engaging portraits of less well-known alchemists, mystics, rebels, eccentrics of all sorts, including figures often ignored in philosophy--figures such as Teresa of Avila, who contributed to the mystical traditions of Catholicism; al-Razi, a contrarian Persian philosopher within the Arabic tradition who described the philosophical life as "godlike;" and Erasmus, the Dutch philosopher who parodied the foolishness of man in his praise of folly.

With a clear, witty style and a flair for making complex ideas accessible, the authors also convincingly demonstrate the relevance of philosophy to our times, emphasizing the legacy of the revolutions wrought by science, industry, colonialism, and sectarian warfare, and the philosophical responses to the traumas of the twentieth century (including two world wars and the Holocaust): existentialism, positivism, postmodernism, feminism, and multiculturalism among them. But Solomon and Higgins go beyond merely retelling the rich history of philosophy; the authors provide their own twists and interpretations of events, resulting in a story that reveals the continuing complexity and diversity of a richly textured and nuanced intellectual tradition. All who are "lovers of wisdom" will find much to reward them in this book.

Synopsis:

In this accessible and comprehensive work, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins cover the entire history of philosophy--ancient, medieval, and modern, from cultures both East and West--in its broader historical and cultural contexts.

Synopsis:

In this accessible and comprehensive work, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins cover the entire history of philosophy--ancient, medieval, and modern, from cultures both East and West--in its broader historical and cultural contexts. Major philosophers and movements are discussed along with less well-known but interesting figures. The authors examine the early Greek, Indic, and Chinese philosophers and the mythological traditions that preceded them, as well as the great religious philosophies, including Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Taoism. Easily understandable to students without specialized knowledge of philosophy, A Short History of Philosophy demonstrates the relevance of philosophy to our times, illuminating the impact of the revolutions wrought by science, industry, colonialism, and sectarian warfare; the two world wars and the Holocaust; and the responses of philosophy in the schools of existentialism, postmodernism, feminism, and multiculturalism. In addition, the authors provide their own twists and interpretations of events, resulting in a broad view of the nature of philosophy as an intellectual discipline and its sometimes odd and dramatic consequences.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 315-324) and index.

Table of Contents

Biographical Chronology

I. The Search for World Order: Ancient Philosophy

The "Axial Period" and the Origins of Philosophy

The "Miracle" of Greece

Philosophy, Myth, Religion, and Science

Meaning and Creation: Cosmogony and the Origins of Philosophy

Vedas and Vedanta: Early Philosophy in India

The First (Greek) Philosopher

The Pre-Socratic Philosophers (I): The Stuff of the World

The Pre-Socratic Philosophers (II): The Underlying Order

The Pre-Socratic Philosophers (III): The Pluralists

Enter the Sophists

Socrates

Plato: Metaphysician or Sublime Humorist?

The Philosopher's Philosopher: Aristotle

A Footnote to Plato (and Aristotle)

Tough Times: Stoicism, Skepticism, and Epicureanism

Mysticism and Logic in Ancient India: Nagarjuna and Nyaya

II. God and the Philosophers: Religious and Medieval Philosophy

Religion and Spirituality: Three Philosophical Themes

The Wisdom of the East (I): Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism

The Wisdom of the East (II): Confucius and Confucianism

The Wisdom of the East (III): Lao-tzu, Chuang-tzu, and Taoism

Deep in the Heart of Persia: Zoroastrianism

From Athens to Jerusalem: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

The Hebrew People and the Origins of Judaism

Greek Jew: Philo of Alexandria

The Birth of Christianity

The Opening of Christianity: St. Paul

Neoplatonism and Christianity

St. Augustine and the Inner Life of Spirit

The First Great Split Within Christianity

The Rise of Islam

Mysticism

Persia and the Peripatetic Tradition

Diaspora, Dialectic, and Mysticism in Judaism

Thinking God: Anselm, Abelard, Aquinas, and Scholasticism

Late Scholasticism: Duns Scotus and William of Ockham

In Search of Essences: The Alchemists

Philosophical Syntheses Outside the West

The Reformation: Luther and His Progeny

The Counter-Reformation, Erasmus, and More

After Aristotle: Bacon, Hobbes, Machiavelli, and the Renaissance

Before the "Discovery": Africa and the Americas

III. Between Science and Religion: Modern Philosophy and the Enlightenment

Science, Religion, and the Meaning of Modernism

Montaigne: The First Modern Philosopher?

Descartes and the New Science

Spinoza, Leibniz, Pascal, and Newton

The Enlightenment, Colonialism, and the Eclipse of the Orient

Locke, Hume, and Empiricism

Adam Smith, the Moral Sentiments, and the Protestant Ethic

Voltaire, Rousseau, and Revolution

Immanuel Kant: Saving Science

Kant's Moral Philosophy and the Third Critique

The Discovery of History: Hegel

Philosophy and Poetry: Rationalism and Romanticism

Romantic West Meets East: Schopenhauer

After Hegel: Kierkegaard, Feuerbach, and Marx

Mill, Darwin, and Nietzsche: Consumerism, Energy, and Evolution

Early Philosophy in America

IV. From Modernism to Postmodernism: The Twentieth Century

The Rejection of Idealism: A Century of Horrors

Frege, Russell, and Husserl: Arithmetic, Atomism, Phenomenology

Zarathustra in the Trenches: The Limits of Rationality

The American Experience in Philosophy: Pragmatism

Changing Reality: Philosophies of Process

Unamuno, Croce, and Heidegger: The Tragic Sense of Life

Hitler, the Holocaust, Positivism, and Existentialism

No Exit: The Existentialism of Camus, Sarte, and Beauvoir

From Ideal to Ordinary

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195101966
With:
Higgins, Kathleen M.
Author:
Solomon, Robert C.
Author:
null, Robert C.
Author:
null, Kathleen M.
Author:
Soloman, Robert C.
Author:
Higgins, Kathleen M.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
History
Subject:
History, Criticism, Surveys
Subject:
Philosophy -- History.
Subject:
History & Surveys - General
Subject:
Philosophy-Surveys
Copyright:
Series Volume:
103-646
Publication Date:
19960201
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
From Cambridge to Oxford<br>Women and Gender: The Feminization of Philosophy<br>The Return of the Oppressed: Africa, Asia, and the Americas<br>From Postmodernism to the New Age<br>World Philosophy: Promise or Pretense<br><strong>Notes </strong><br><s
Illustrations:
57 illus.
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.21x6.13x.93 in. 1.13 lbs.

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A Short History of Philosophy Used Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195101966 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this accessible and comprehensive work, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins cover the entire history of philosophy--ancient, medieval, and modern, from cultures both East and West--in its broader historical and cultural contexts.

"Synopsis" by , In this accessible and comprehensive work, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins cover the entire history of philosophy--ancient, medieval, and modern, from cultures both East and West--in its broader historical and cultural contexts. Major philosophers and movements are discussed along with less well-known but interesting figures. The authors examine the early Greek, Indic, and Chinese philosophers and the mythological traditions that preceded them, as well as the great religious philosophies, including Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Taoism. Easily understandable to students without specialized knowledge of philosophy, A Short History of Philosophy demonstrates the relevance of philosophy to our times, illuminating the impact of the revolutions wrought by science, industry, colonialism, and sectarian warfare; the two world wars and the Holocaust; and the responses of philosophy in the schools of existentialism, postmodernism, feminism, and multiculturalism. In addition, the authors provide their own twists and interpretations of events, resulting in a broad view of the nature of philosophy as an intellectual discipline and its sometimes odd and dramatic consequences.
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