Synopses & Reviews
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.”
"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.
From the timeless wisdom of the ancient Greeks to Christianity, the Enlightenment, existentialism, and postmodernism, Luc Ferrys instant classic brilliantly and accessibly explains the enduring teachings of philosophyincluding 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.
About the Author
Luc Ferry is a philosopher and the author of the national bestseller A Brief History of Thought. From 2002 to 2004 he served as France's minister of national education. He has been awarded the Prix Médicis, Prix Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, and Prix Aujourd'hui, in addition to being an officer of the French Legion of Honor and a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. He lives in Paris.