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summary ç eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Will Durant

summary ç eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Will Durant A brilliant and concise account of the lives and ideas of the great philosophers Plato Aristotle Bacon Spinoza Voltaire Kant Schopenhauer Spencer Nietzsche Bergson Croce Russell Santayana James and. This is the most sensitive look at philosophy I've ever read Will Durant is brilliant and who wasn't touched by his heartfelt dedication to his wife at the beginning I think what really set this book apart is Durant's inclusion of just enough biographical information of the philosophers to remind you that they were just people like you and me who happened to think deep amazing things about life and were deeply affected by their own childhoods and personal lives ie Nietzsche and his less than sparkling love life This is the book that made me fall in love with philosophy I consider this to be in my top 5 favorite books of all time One problem however slight as it may be When I first read this book i had borrowed it from my library and I remember that it was such a beautiful hard cover edition with an elegant binding that made the pages uneven but gorgeous Even the pages themselves had a lovely aged feel to them due to their thickness Looking back I realize that instead of checking it out 11 times that year I should have just stolen it yes i admit it because now all I own is a simple paperback copy that pales in resemblance The story inside dazzles your mind but how i miss the edition that felt so good to hold

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review The Story of Philosophy Ø eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ A brilliant and concise account of the lives and ideas of the great philosophers—Plato Aristotle Bacon Spinoza Voltaire Kant Schopenhauer Spencer Nietzsche Bergson Croce Russell Santayana James and Dewey— The Story of Philosophy is one of the great books of our time Ip Durant’s insight and wit never cease to dazzle; The Story of Philosophy is a key book for any reader who wishes to survey the history and development of philosophical ideas in the Western worl. In August of 1982 I was invited down to Tampa St Pete with my girlfriend to visit her paternal grandmother We stayed in a trailer court with a pool during a week of hot and muggy weather With no car the only activities available to us were walks to the mall or sitting by the pool For me this being my first trip to Florida the high points were the many varieties of reptiles turtles in the drainage ditch behind the house and magical little lizards darting about everywhereSchool was to start when we returned so I brought Durant's Story of Philosophy along After a summer of recreational reading it was time to get back into gear Surprisingly Durant's book turned out to be one of the best reads during the whole season It was clear coherent even fun the author mixing the lives of the philosophers in with their thinking I particularly enjoyed reading his account of Spinoza normally a rather obscure figure I got so excited during part of that section that I had to get up walk around and think before jumping in and out of the pool to begin anew

Will Durant ´ 3 summary

The Story of PhilosophyDewey The Story of Philosophy is one of the great books of our time Few write for the non specialist as well as Will Durant and this book is a splendid example of his eminently readable scholarsh. The Story tried to salt itself with a seasoning of humor not only because wisdom is not wise if it scares away merriment but because a sense of humor being born of perspective bears a near kinship to philosophy; each is the soul of the otherA few years ago as I began teaching myself philosophy I bought a used copy of this book But I could never seem to get around to it So its yellowed pages only grew yellow and its already cracked and broken spine castigated me from my bookshelf every time I passed by Thus to relieve my conscience I finally decided to dive in; but I uickly lost interest Every time I put the book down I waited a long time before picking it up again; and it was only when I downloaded an audiobook that I was able to finish Durant’s popular history of philosophy This difficulty in finishing is the clearest indication of how I felt about it I was unimpressed Though by no means a bad book and one with many good ualities I can’t say I would recommend this book to anyone for I believe Durant does an injustice to his topic Simply put this is both a poor history of and introduction to philosophy; it fails to convey adeuately what philosophy is what philosophers do and how philosophy developed There is little of intellectual or academic interest in these pages and despite its elouence I often managed to find the book uite dull The trouble comes early on when Durant makes this announcementThe author believes that epistemology has kidnapped modern philosophy and well nigh ruined it; he hopes for the time when the study of the knowledge process will be recognized as the business of psychology and when philosophy will again be understood as the synthetic interpretation of all experience rather than the analytic description of the mode and process of experience itselfThe absurdity of the above paragraph is obvious to anyone who has read a fair share of philosophy Writing a history of philosophy while omitting epistemology is like writing a history of chemistry while refusing to talk about chemical bonds Epistemology is a central part of philosophy and besides a central concern of the greatest modern philosophers; so any treatment of the subject lacking epistemology is doomed to miss the mark Besides this I would also like to point out that the above paragraph reveals an intellectual weakness as well How could epistemology be the subject of psychology a science Epistemology asks “What is knowledge” This is clearly not a subject that can be investigated empirically or decided scientifically for scientific investigation presupposes that knowledge is empirical in nature In other words by the time you set out to do science epistemology is over and done with So already Durant is showing himself to be a poor philosopher as well as a poor historian When we get into the thick of Durant’s book we encounter an even general problem Durant’s modus operandi throughout this work is to treat the ideas of philosophers as byproducts of their experiences and their personalities Not only does this often lead him into cheap psychoanalyzing such as speculating about how Nietzsche’s father and mother influenced his outlook as well as broad and often ridiculous generalizations about peoples and places the Germans do this the Jews do that but damningly turns systems of philosophy into mere uirks of personality and whims of fancy In this book philosophers are artists not thinkers Although Durant would have you believe that this is the wise and cosmopolitan perspective on the matter this fails completely to do justice to these men Philosophy is among other things the art of argumentation Philosophers—good philosophers at least—are extremely focused on the logical reasons for their beliefs This is embodied in that great creation myth of Western philosophy Plato’s tales of Socrates wherein that old sage wanders from citizen to citizen perpetually demanding to know the reasons why they believe what they do Plato’s Socrates is always asking What do you mean by this word And why do you mean it that way The final goal of the philosopher is to harbour no dogmatic opinions—and by dogmatic I mean opinions that are accepted without scrutiny—but rather to probe and investigate every assumption idea and goal in life Durant’s treatment of philosophers does exactly the opposite In Durant’s hands philosophers are mere pundits who spout theories left and right without taking the time to justify them Durant’s chapters on their ideas are mere litanies of opinions; and the final impression is that philosophy is just the art of having pompous and high sounding views about grandiose subjects It is absolutely worthless to know that Plato believed in a world of ideal forms without knowing why he did so; and the same goes for every other philosopher’s view This emphasis on reason and argument is what separates philosophy from philosophizing; but you will find almost exclusively the latter in this book I would be being unfair if I didn’t acknowledge that many of this book’s faults are due to its genesis This book was originally published as a series of pamphlets for the Blue Book series which were inexpensive paperbacks for worker education This origin largely explains why this book contains such a huge chronological leap from Aristotle all the way to Francis Bacon and also why Durant continually emphasizes the practical over the theoretical the biographical over the intellectual Less excusable perhaps was Durant’s choice to write a chapter on Voltaire who wasn’t even a philosopher and Herbert Spencer who was obsolescent even back when this book was written Much better would have been a chapter on John Locke who formulated many of the ideas later endorsed by Voltaire and John Stuart Mill a contemporary of Herbert Spencer who has had a much lasting effect on the subseuent history of philosophy While I’m at it I think a chapter on Descartes would have been much better than a chapter on Francis Bacon who is a fairly minor figure in the history of philosophy for Descartes was also a pioneer of science as well as a great mathematician not to mention the father of modern philosophy For these reason I would much highly recommend Russell’s History of Western Philosophy over this book as Russell being himself a philosopher at least does his best to reconstruct the reasons for other philosophers’ views even if Russell sometimes falls short in this task I also want to note in passing that Durant considers Russell’s early work in logic and mathematics to be pure hogwash whereas most philosophers today consider that to be Russell’s most enduring work The only place that Durant surpasses Russell is in his chapter on Kant which I think is a truly excellent piece of work and a good place to start for any students seeking to understand that obscure German metaphysician But other than this brief flash of sunlight the rest of this book is nothing but passing storm clouds rumbling ominously constantly threatening to rain and yet passing overhead with nary a drop leaving us as parched as they found us