History of Western Philosophy

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 30, 2008 - Philosophy - 928 pages
8 Reviews
Hailed as “lucid and magisterial” by The Observer, this book is universally acclaimed as the outstanding one-volume work on the subject of Western philosophy.

Considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of all time, the History of Western Philosophy is a dazzlingly unique exploration of the ideologies of significant philosophers throughout the ages—from Plato and Aristotle through to Spinoza, Kant and the twentieth century. Written by a man who changed the history of philosophy himself, this is an account that has never been rivaled since its first publication over sixty years ago.

Since its first publication in 1945, Lord Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy is still unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace, and its wit. In seventy-six chapters he traces philosophy from the rise of Greek civilization to the emergence of logical analysis in the twentieth century.

Among the philosophers considered are: Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the Atomists, Protagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Cynics, the Sceptics, the Epicureans, the Stoics, Plotinus, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Benedict, Gregory the Great, John the Scot, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, the Utilitarians, Marx, Bergson, James, Dewey, and lastly the philosophers with whom Lord Russell himself is most closely associated—Cantor, Frege, and Whitehead, coauthor with Russell of the monumental Principia Mathematica.
 

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Logician, mathematician, athiest, and either the poorest or most biased reader in the history of philosophy. I received this book just as I entered graduate school. As I would be reading many of those represented in the book throughout the semester, I thought that I would read the famed Russell along with them. It did not take me long to begin to question whether the publisher had mislabeled the chapters. Admittedly, everyone has their idiosyncratic readings. It is not unreasonable, however, for a scholar to keep his biases to him or herself when putatively introducing philosophers, often to new comers or relative new comers. Russell is not the only such writer to allow his own views to bleed into such works; after all, there is no doubt that F. Coppleston has his Catholic bias. Yet, to say that Russell's views bled into the text is something of an understatement. He must have had some serious wounds, perhaps having been attacked by his rabid dogmatism. This is not a book for those who want to learn the views of philosophers. If you want to know what Russell thought of the history of Western philosophy, more power to you. But you will be misled, if you rely upon his interpretations, not to mention his failure to interpret. I am speaking in particular of his failure to even mention Nietzsche, in 895 pages on the topic of philosophers. Be kind to Mother Earth, save a bunch of trees by ignoring this work into the dustbins of philosophical tripe.  

Contents

The PreSocratics Chapter 1 The Rise of Greek Civilization
3
The Milesian School
24
Pythagoras
29
Heraclitus
38
Parmenides
48
Chapter v1 Empedocles
53
Athens in Relation to Culture
58
Anaxagoras
61
Mohammedan Culture
419
The Twelfth Century
428
The Thirteenth Century
429
Saint Thomas Aquinas
452
Franciscan Schoolmen
463
The Eclipse of the Papacy
476
BOOK THREE MODERN PHILOSOPHY
489
From the Renaissance to Hume
491

The Atomists
64
Protagoras
73
Socrates Plato and Aristotle Chapter xi Socrates
82
The Influence of Sparta
94
The Sources of Platos Opinions
104
Platos Utopia
108
The Theory of Ideas
119
Platos Theory of Immortality I 32
132
Platos Cosmogony
143
Knowledge and Perception in Plato
149
Aristotles Metaphysics
159
Aristotles Ethics
172
Aristotles Politics
184
Aristotles Logic
195
Astronomy
208
Ancient Philosophy after Aristotle
218
Plotinus
284
Introduction
301
The Fathers
308
Christianity During the First Four
324
Theology
352
Great
375
The Schoolmen
388
Century
407
The Italian Renaissance
495
Machiavelli
504
Erasmus and More
512
The Reformation and Counter Reformation
522
Chapter v1 The Rise of Science
525
Francis Bacon
541
Hobbess Leviathan
546
Descartes
557
Spinoza
569
Leibniz
581
Philosophical Liberalism
596
Lockes Theory of Knowledge
604
Lockes Political Philosophy
617
Lockes Influence
641
Berkeley
647
Hume
659
From Rousseau to the Present Day
675
Rousseau
684
Kant
701
Currents of Thought in the Nine teenth Century
719
Hegel
730
Byron
746
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About the author (2008)

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, Viscount Amberley, born in Wales, May 18, 1872. Educated at home and at Trinity College, Cambridge. During World War I, served four months in prison as a pacifist, where he wrote Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. In 1910, published first volume of Principia Mathematica with Alfred Whitehead. Visited Russia and lectured on philosophy at the University of Peking in 1920. Returned to England and, with his wife, ran a progressive school for young children in Sussex from 1927-1932. Came to the United States, where he taught philosophy successively at the University of Chicago, University of California at Los Angeles, Harvard, and City College of New York. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Has been active in disarmament and anti-nuclear-testing movements while continuing to add to his large number of published books which include Philosophical Essays (1910); The ABC of Relativity (1925) Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (1948); Why I Am Not a Christian (1957); and The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell (1967). For a chronological list of Russell's principal works see The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell (Simon and Schuster).

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