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.
“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)
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"
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.
Grover Gardner is excellent -
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.
Great audio book. Recommended to everyone. Its a delight to listent to the words of Will Durant and Grover Gardner is an awesome narrator!!!
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.
I'm a professional painter and love ennobling, enlightening literature
open your mind
honestly, most of the stories rush you to read, in greater depth, about the lives and philosophies introduced in this book
his pacing allows for digestion
the whole book; I love this book and am listening to it again.
don't let your life pass without reading the Story of Philosophy.
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.
How surprisingly pleasant it was to follow.
I found this a nice introduction to philosophy- a history coming from the perspective of a 20th century philosopher.
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