A concise view of philosophy throughout history and wonderful comparison between the classic, great thinkers.
My name is Z. And I am funky
Philosophy doesn't exactly lend itself to the audio book format. I found myself making liberal use of the 30 second rewind throughout the entire book. There are simply too many ideas with too many nuances present in the text. Despite my minor difficulty adjusting to the format, I fully enjoyed Durant's historical tour de force. He does have his own biases and these are quite evident as he explains the work of other thinkers. But I wouldn't have it any other way. To truly engage with a worldview, you have to respond to it honestly, and Durant does. After giving a short biography and then going into detail about each figure's main ideas, he offers up criticism from his 20th Century point of view.
As per Headline - good entry level book that gives access to some of the great philosophers backgrounds and their histories that perhaps led to their particular philosophical leanings. Looks at the development of the personality of noted philosophers in line with historical events influencing their life and growth of thought.
A lot to take in (for me) and so I preferred (as I do) to take it slowly over time.
laden with much content and written in a good, yet sometimes dry fashion, this book walks you through the history of western philosophy from the ancient Greek to modern times. certainly highly recommendable.
Never did I think that a book written in 1926 would resonate so well in modern times. Much care was taken crafting the prose, more than in modern books. Half the time I was bookmarking insight of philosophers, and half the time I was noting the author's own elegant turns of phrase. Example: "To see how short life is, one must have lived long". And "a man who has lived to 70 has survived his pessimism"
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Edward R. Murrow interviewed several famous people in a 1950s series called This I Believe. One of the participants was Will Durant.
Durant wrote his own “THIS I BELIEVE ESSAY” after having spent fifty years of his life researching and writing an eleven volume work titled “The History of Civilization”. His wife, Arieal Durant, a scholar in her own right, also labored those fifty years on this and other historical works. Durant writes, in his “THIS I BELIEVE ESSAY”,: “I find in the Universe so many forms of order, organization, system, law and adjustment of means to ends, that I believe in a cosmic intelligence and I conceive God as the life, mind, order and law of the world. I suspect that when I die I shall be dead. I would look upon endless existence as a curse as did the Flying Dutchman and the Wandering Jew. Death is life’s greatest invention; perpetually replacing the worn with the new.”
Durant is not irrefutably or completely revealing the world of philosophy. He is opening a door to the importance of philosophy. He shows that philosophy addresses the fundamental questions of human life.
In Durant’s updated (1950s) version of, “The Mansions of Philosophy”, he decries the paucity of philosophical interpretation of science and the failure of late 20th century philosophers to synthesize current scientific discoveries. He infers humanity is losing its way because scientific discoveries have little context and no direction.
I would recommend this book to individuals who wanted a good overview of the history of philosophy.
I initially read this book in a Introduction to Philosophy course some 35 year ago and just wanted a refresher on what was contained in this book. Needless to say, I forgot a lot, and maybe some sections of the book I never read. It was an enjoyable visit with a great American Professor of philosophy.
Ideas and thoughts never change
This is a introductory story of philosophy. The author reffers to some important philosophers. The book begins with greek philosophy and ends with "contemporary" american philosophy (George Santayana, William James and John Dewey). Some of the greatest thinkers were there. The reader should not expect though an exaustive exposition. The story is straight and give relevant insights about the works of the philosophers examined.The narration is good, specially for a foreig like me.