This was my first audible selection, and it took me almost 3 months to listen to both parts -- but it was worth it! It's a great listen, and in terms of content and entertainment value it ranks right up there with From Dawn to Decadence (which I read, but haven't listened to). I especially enjoyed the discussions of the very early days of philosophy, which I didn't know much about before this book. It's the kind of book that causes you to "rewind" in places, so you don't miss even a single sentence. (That's why it took me so long to get through.) But definitely worth the number of hours required to get through both parts.
This volume in my opinion, spent too much portion (3/4) with ancient greco-roman philosophy, the first few chapters were repetitive and slow in pace, but it got better. The language has a judgmental undertone and therefore, fun to listen to.
I write on economics, history and politics. I read/listen to feed my pen. I enjoy great narration more than music,, movies or tv.
This book made me laugh out loud on the subway. The author's gift of irony plus the narrators understanding thereof made this a truly entertaining listen. Quite an achievement for a book on philosophy.
The subject could have beem covered in 8 CDs not 16. The narrator lectured instead of inspired. Occasional she hit a area of insight, but they were too few and far between. I couldn't imagine trying to read this book.
If you enjoy the art of thinking along with, (OR SLIGHTLY BEHIND).. the best of history's western thinkers,.. THINK SMART, and read, then re-read, and..once again re-re-read this wonderful and epic undertaking!! (starting) Today!
If, on the other hand,.. your brain is lazy, and you like being, or at least remaining a mental so-so-O-so, instead of risking that ever so small chance of become a little more of a gray-matter extreeeem Virtuoso...go ahead,..skip this book at your own loss!
This work is certainly required material for those interested in the origins of western thought, but also for those seeking a bit of truth. Very entertainingly performed. I could have listened for another few hours.
l'enfer c'est les autres
One can learn Philosophy best of all by going to the primary sources themselves and studying them, but by doing it that way the student losses the context and the relationship between the different schools of thought and how a school of thought relates to the others of its time period and how it is relevant today. The author, a journalist, does that connecting for the reader by analyzing what each school of thought says and how it connects giving the reader the modern perspective the school requires.
I can give a for instance what the author does with the school of thought with the Skeptics. First he puts them in the context after the Socratics and why they relate as they do, then he shows the contrast they had with the Epicureans and Stoics, and then how they relate to the Logical Positivists of the relatively modern Vienna Circle by the fact that the Skeptics see the world at most by the empirical facts based upon the absolute foundation and aren't necessarily needing the theory (theoria, the binding glue that holds the world together by a narrative or description) to understand the world (Hume, a Skeptic and empiricist would say you never can see the effect, just the cause, and the vase staying upon the table is all that you can really see and the 'gravity' is not materially real and is just a 'construct', a narrative, within the mind).
I think the author some what excels at explaining each school of thought and putting the context and relevance in its proper place. I think Bertrand Russel and Will Durant each have written a very similar book as this one and did as good or better job. I'm not sure if there was anything really new within this book that wasn't in the other two books, but he is a good writer and the book is an interesting read.
(The author really likes the short play "The Clouds" by Aristophanes and must have mentioned it 10 times with the pre-Socratics and the Socratics. I would recommend listening to the free version available at LibriVox before listening to this story since it is entertaining, laugh out loud funny, free, and is such a big part of the narrative to the first part of this book).
Dad, Dentist, Adventurer. Well... at least 2 of those.
The readers voice is great and author doesn't go into to much detail about all the little nuances that separate the different philosophers. Just the right amount of depth.
Beautiful tone, very easy on the ears.
No laughing or crying, but I have never paused a book so much to sit and think about what I just heard.