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A Little History of Philosophy Audiobook

A Little History of Philosophy

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Publisher's Summary

Philosophy begins with questions about the nature of reality and how we should live. These were the concerns of Socrates, who spent his days in the ancient Athenian marketplace asking awkward questions, disconcerting the people he met by showing them how little they genuinely understood.

This engaging book introduces the great thinkers in Western philosophy and explores their most compelling ideas about the world and how best to live in it. In forty brief chapters, Nigel Warburton guides us on a chronological tour of the major ideas in the history of philosophy. He provides interesting and often quirky stories of the lives and deaths of thought-provoking philosophers from Socrates, who chose to die by hemlock poisoning rather than live on without the freedom to think for himself, to Peter Singer, who asks the disquieting philosophical and ethical questions that haunt our own times.

Warburton not only makes philosophy accessible, he offers inspiration to think, argue, reason, and ask in the tradition of Socrates. A Little History of Philosophy presents the grand sweep of humanity's search for philosophical understanding and invites all to join in the discussion.

©2011 Nigel Warburton (P)2014 Audible Studios

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (973 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Eric 12-30-15
    Eric 12-30-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Good Listen"

    Exactly the type of book I was looking for. A broad overview, to the point and informative.

    32 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    m.emery 06-23-15
    m.emery 06-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very Well Done"
    What did you love best about A Little History of Philosophy?

    This was a very interesting overview of major philosophers from Socrates to the present time. Just the right level for me. I had studided briefly some philosophy in college, but forgotten most of it, and wanted an overview the major people and ideas.

    This was perfect and the reading was excellent.


    30 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-22-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved it. Succinct, humorous, digestible bits"

    Finally, a nice summary of highlights of western philosophy. I loved every minute of it and will re-listen a few more times in the future.

    42 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kwdayboise (Kim Day) Boise, Idaho 04-25-16
    kwdayboise (Kim Day) Boise, Idaho 04-25-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A good summary view"

    If you're new to philosophy, this is a good summary view of the field from Aristotle to Singer. There are some interesting omissions, such as Heidegger, and some nice looks at modern issues.

    It's not a deep book, nor is it intended to be. It gives a snapshot for inspiration for further learning.

    If you have a fair grasp of philosophy already, and have struggled through a few writers on your own, you might do better with Will Durant's Story of Philosophy, in which the author takes on many of the same philosophers with more vigor. Bertrand Russell's Problems of Philosophy covers many of the issues with less history.

    In the Great Courses series there are similar summaries. Exploring Metaphysics is one I can recommend. Great Minds of the Medieval World covers many of the early philosophers found here with more depth.

    24 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    McCoffee Saratoga, CA, United States 10-04-15
    McCoffee Saratoga, CA, United States 10-04-15

    I like history and biography, novels too. I do have a thing for zombie books as well. I need crappy thrillers now and then.

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    "The Easy Track to the Big Picture"

    Really enjoyable overview of western thinking with a strong narrator. Organization is mostly chronological. Easy to listen to chapters a couple of time. This is prepping me before reading actual works by some of the philosophers.

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brandi PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 03-31-16
    brandi PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 03-31-16 Member Since 2015

    Bookworm

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    "Spectacular!"

    Each key philosophy is described in chronological order and in detail. The author makes this complex subject come alive. His narrative is newbie - friendly and scholarly. =)

    40 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Informative"
    What made the experience of listening to A Little History of Philosophy the most enjoyable?

    I liked the voice of the Narrator.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was mostly drawn to Boethius' story. I had not head of him before.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an informative book but I became tired of it towards the end especially when it discussed Charles Darwin. I don't consider him a philosopher and therefore I don't think he should have a chapter in the book. After that, I was turned off.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    judithh California 05-06-16
    judithh California 05-06-16 Member Since 2012

    Judith H. Taylor

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent, short but sweet"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Little History of Philosophy to be better than the print version?

    I enjoy listening to books as I do other things around the house and especially enjoy a well written and spoken book when finding myself wide awake during the night.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Clear and sometimes entertaining history of the world's most famous philosophers and some of their rather unique turns of mind.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely a book I will listen to more than once. Would recommend it highly.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gloria 05-04-16
    Gloria 05-04-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Meet the great minds."

    Nice work,full of facts and guide to the great thinkers of
    the past. History and religion.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Matthews, NC 08-27-16
    Wayne Matthews, NC 08-27-16 Member Since 2016

    I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!

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    "Very brief partrial summary of western philosophy"

    British philosopher Nigel Warburton has written a very brief summary of western philosophy starting with Socrates and later Greek and then Roman philosophers ending in the early common era (about 100 AD), He then jumps to the 18th century and on to the present. The strongest parts of the audiobook are the Greek/Roman period and the 18th/19th centuries. His coverage the 1870-current period is very weak and his selection of philosophers often wrong-headed in my view. For example, he discusses 18th and 19th century political and economic philosophers in some detail ending with Marx, but then ignores 20th century political and economic philosophy completely. His 20th century discussions are largely about the less interesting area of aesthetics.

    Warburton takes on an impossible task with this book and in doing so has made a worthwhile contribution to the general understanding of those who listen to it. The audiobook is very worthwhile. I rate the book 3 stars mostly because of the weakness of the discussion of the 1870 to current period.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • dave
    3/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Philosophy Bites"

    Loved it. Not too heavy going for the person in the street (me). The author also does the excellent philosophy bites podcast. Recommended.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • David
    London, UK
    9/14/15
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    "Tremendous overview of western philosophy"
    If you could sum up A Little History of Philosophy in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, thought-provoking and concise.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I've heard nearly all of the their names, but really I never had a clear concept of the ideas of the major western philosophers, until I listened to this book. In a remarkably easy-to-listen-to style, the author presents a neat, somewhat superficial but pithy summary of arguably the 40 most important and influential western philosophers in modern history. From Socrates and Plato through to Peter Singer, he introduces the person, his key ideas and contributions to thought, and how others received his or her ideas.I know more now than I did before, and have enjoyed listening to this book so much I'm going to listen to it again.


    Have you listened to any of Kris Dyer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Haven't listened to any of Kris's other performances. I thought he had some slightly unusual pronunciation - a long 'a' in "Isaac" and two equally-emphasized syllables in "at-om" jarred slightly for me, but he is a clear, warm-voiced reader and I would happily listen to more.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me thirsty for more of the same - and I wonder if there is a similarly concise, masterly overview of eastern philosophy available in a similar format?


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended - accessible, interesting, and thought provoking stuff, which makes me realise a lot of the moral or intellectual questions which we all ponder from time to time are well-rehearsed, categorised, and have been thoroughly explored by philosophers who - for the most part - have something to say on the subjects which merits a bit of our attention. Five stars.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Brent
    4/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wonderful"

    absolutely loved it! listened to it everywhere, in the bath, walking to work, everywhere. highly recommended.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    12/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easy and enjoyable"

    , i don't like the idea that we are forced to make long reviews, that is my final philosophical, viewpoint

    9 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • anna
    8/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Accessible philosophy"

    Really enjoyed this book. It's a great way to get an overview of philosophy in bit size chunks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sabina
    5/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book"

    Not a bad book on introduction to philosophy! Not super in depth but encourages firther reading and research. Really enjoyed it and will be reading some further books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shamsa
    3/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book"

    book provides an incredible insight into the history of philosophy and the many discussions of notable philosophers through the centuries.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D. S. Boag
    UK
    2/7/16
    Overall
    "Entertaining and briefly informative"

    I really enjoyed this quick and pleasant romp through a dizzying array of philosophers.
    Sometimes familiar, sometimes not.

    Highly recommended as an initial charge into the subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • jules
    12/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty much what it says on the cover"
    Where does A Little History of Philosophy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Better than average


    If you’ve listened to books by Nigel Warburton before, how does this one compare?

    First book from this author and would certainly read more.


    Any additional comments?

    Very nice book. Well written and factual. Nicely narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dippy
    12/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great History of Philosophy"
    What did you like most about A Little History of Philosophy?

    I can understand it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author and his funny, clear way of presenting difficult philosophical ideas.


    What about Kris Dyer’s performance did you like?

    The voice has character---an old fashioned word my father use to use to judge people.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Well--philosophy isn't a novel but great ideas esp the discussion of Witgenstein was outstanding.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book, great listen--so much better than Bertrand Russell's who is just too smart for me. HIs discussion always fly over my head.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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