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The Story of Philosophy Audiobook

The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers

Durant lucidly describes the philosophical systems of such world-famous “monarchs of the mind” as Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Spinoza, Kant, Voltaire, and Nietzsche. Along with their ideas, he offers their flesh-and-blood biographies, placing their thoughts within their own time and place and elucidating their influence on our modern intellectual heritage. This book is packed with wisdom and wit.
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Publisher's Summary

The product of 11 years of research, The Story of Philosophy is an endlessly inspiring and instructive chronicle of the world’s greatest thinkers, from Socrates to Santayana. Written with exacting and scrupulous scholarship, it was designed both to command the respect of educators and to capture the interest of the layman.

Durant lucidly describes the philosophical systems of such world-famous “monarchs of the mind” as Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Spinoza, Kant, Voltaire, and Nietzsche. Along with their ideas, he offers their flesh-and-blood biographies, placing their thoughts within their own time and place and elucidating their influence on our modern intellectual heritage. This book is packed with wisdom and wit.

Will Durant (1885-1981) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He spent over 50 years writing his critically acclaimed 11-volume series The Story of Civilization. A champion of human-rights issues such as social reform and the brotherhood of man long before they were popular, he continues to educate and entertain readers and listeners worldwide through his writings.

©1926 Will Durant (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A delight.” (New York Times)

“Easily the most engaging writer of Western intellectual history in the English language, Will Durant breathes life into philosophers and their ideas. He is colorful, witty, and above all, informative.” (Amazon.com review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (777 )
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4.1 (599 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gregory M. Kreiger 04-05-14 Member Since 2013

    Runner

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    "Will Durant Revisited"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to individuals who wanted a good overview of the history of philosophy.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    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.


    If you could give The Story of Philosophy a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Ideas and thoughts never change


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus Brasília, Brazil 11-01-13
    Marcus Brasília, Brazil 11-01-13 Member Since 2010

    mvrb

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    "Great Introduction"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Greene CHATTANOOGA, TN, United States 09-08-13
    Dan Greene CHATTANOOGA, TN, United States 09-08-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Wisdom lessons"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Story of Philosophy to be better than the print version?

    Grover Gardner is excellent -


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Grover Gardner is in synch with Will Durant. Grover Gardner (under the name Alexander Adams) narrated Will Durants Story of Civilization. The Story of Philosophy is sort of like Will Durants practice for his larger work on the history of human civilazation. Its a treasure.


    Any additional comments?

    Great audio book. Recommended to everyone. Its a delight to listent to the words of Will Durant and Grover Gardner is an awesome narrator!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Big John Montana 07-28-13
    Big John Montana 07-28-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A dry and thought provoking book."

    A journey through philosophy that everyone who enjoys thinking philosophically will enjoy.
    The subject matter and presentation would be considered dry, but I like this stuff, I like to pause the book and think about tangents that come into my mind, and then resume.

    Not a book for everyone, but if philosophy is a subject matter that you enjoy spending time on you will find this book well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    heART seneca sc 07-06-13
    heART seneca sc 07-06-13 Member Since 2013

    I'm a professional painter and love ennobling, enlightening literature

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    "the most enlightening book of them all"
    If you could sum up The Story of Philosophy in three words, what would they be?

    open your mind


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Story of Philosophy?

    honestly, most of the stories rush you to read, in greater depth, about the lives and philosophies introduced in this book


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    his pacing allows for digestion


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

    the whole book; I love this book and am listening to it again.


    Any additional comments?

    don't let your life pass without reading the Story of Philosophy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BradBrad SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 05-30-13
    BradBrad SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 05-30-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Philosophy made Enjoyable"
    Where does The Story of Philosophy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A very enjoyable read- not the subject matter/ type of book that I could really put at the top of my all time best listens- can't fault wither Durant or Gardner for that.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    How surprisingly pleasant it was to follow.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I found this a nice introduction to philosophy- a history coming from the perspective of a 20th century philosopher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rahul Melbourne, Australia 04-27-13
    Rahul Melbourne, Australia 04-27-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A worthy attempt at a difficult task"

    The Story of Philosophy is a very worthy listen but is a work of its times. First written in 1926, it remains remarkably relevant but is also full of the colour of its day. The author's voice and views sing through the work and brings the philosophies to life but this can skew the view one gets of some of the philosophers.

    The book is fantastic as a primer to philosophy but be prepared to re-listen to some sections or do further reading on some of the works discussed before forming a view on the philosophers discussed. It should not be considered definitive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie 04-14-13
    Natalie 04-14-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Interesting, but biased"

    This book is worth listening to for the historical facts that it offers, as well as for its comprehensiveness. Durant touches on a good number of important philosophers since ancient Greece, and does so with great depth. However, it's important to take into consideration that this is not a new book, and that it depends on the scholarship of its time. Certain readings of later philosophers seem outdated, e.g. the understanding of Nietzsche's will to power and his superman, who, despite appearing only early in _Zarathustra_ and then being discarded, is given a lot of significance. As long as one is aware that the author is presenting only his understanding of the philosophers and that his take does not represent the absolute truth, this is a decent read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Dempsey Portage, Mi United States 04-12-13
    R. Dempsey Portage, Mi United States 04-12-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Dry"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend if the friend was studying philosophy


    What was most disappointing about Will Durant’s story?

    I was hoping for an encapsulation and summation of the great philosophers


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    It was difficult to tell the difference of the authors input versus the written words pf the philosopher. ie there was not a voice change.


    Could you see The Story of Philosophy being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No way


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Harper United States 04-07-13
    Kevin Harper United States 04-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Perfect Resource for a Good Basis in Philosophy"

    The Story of Philosophy is a great resource for someone looking for a good foundation in Western Philosophy. Although it would be nice to have had a bit more exploration of the ancient Greek and Roman Philosophers and less emphasis at the end of the book on 20th Century Europeans and Americans, this is a great book presented in an enjoyable way. The biographical information provided for each philosopher is historically interesting and creates a useful context for the philosophies developed by each of the men discussed. For anyone interested in beginning a study in philosophy, this is the place to start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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