The book traces the history of philosophy's tought from the presocratics to John Dewey. Bertrand Russell presents the ideas of majors thinkers of the period and the social enviroment in which they live and work. The author discuss the diverse concepts and gives his reasons of agreement and/or disagreement. The narration of Jonathan Keeble is good and has distinct emphasis that help the listener/reader understanding of the work. Definitely an insightful reading in philosophy's field.
The book is a classic. The narrative in the audio version is clear and understandable, even for foreign like me.
This is a well written overview of the subject. Its poses the questions one faces when study ethics and gives ways to treat the difficulties. Because it is a short work, the treatment of the matter is not profound. The book is intelligible for beginners and illustrative for a philosophy student. The audio is very good and the narrator's performance allow an enjoyable hearing.
Ghost writer of over 100 unpublished works...;).
I picked up this audiobook because I wanted to begin studying philosophy and I needed a starting point. I am not disappointed. Durant gave me the direction I was seeking and a lot more.
One of the most valuable things it provides is the context in which each philosopher wrote their philosophy. Durant shows how the time and place of each philosopher affected each work. He also highlights the influence of other philosophers in each work.The great works of philosophy weren't created in a vacuum.
I had never heard of Will Durant but as I listened I got the impression that whoever this guy was he really did his homework. How little did I know! Suffice to say that I believe he is qualified to write such an ambitious work. Look him up on Wikipedia if you are as ignorant as I.
And what a narration! I can't speak highly enough of the way this sometimes difficult work was tackled by Gardner. I don't know how he did it, it's like he wrote the book himself and was conveying his own thoughts on the complicated mind of Kant or Nietzsche.
If you don't know much about philosophy, you really can't go wrong with using this as a starting or reference point. I imagine even those with experience in the field will find Durant's insight beneficial.
I was greatly pleased to find William James included in the discussion, but was disappointed not to find more on Descartes, Hume, Locke, and others.
For reference, from wikipedia:
"Philosophers profiled are, in order: Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Baruch Spinoza (with a section on Descartes), Voltaire (with a section on Rousseau), Immanuel Kant (with a section on Hegel), Arthur Schopenhauer, Herbert Spencer, and Friedrich Nietzsche." Also Henri Bergson, Benedetto Croce, Bertrand Russell, George Santayana, William James, and John Dewey.