The History of Philosophy

Narrated by: Neil Gardner
Length: 28 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: History, World
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The first authoritative and accessible single-volume history of philosophy to cover both Western and Eastern traditions, from one of the world's most eminent thinkers

The story of philosophy is the story of who we are and why. An epic tale, spanning civilizations and continents, it explores some of the most creative minds in history. But not since the long-popular classic Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy, published in 1945, has there been a comprehensive and entertaining single-volume history of this great, intellectual, world-shaping journey.

With characteristic clarity and elegance, A. C. Grayling takes the listener from the worldviews and moralities before the age of the Buddha, Confucius, and Socrates through Christianity's capture of the European mind, from the Renaissance and Enlightenment on to Mill, Nietzsche, Sartre, and, finally, philosophy today. Bringing together these many threads that all too often run parallel, he surveys in tandem the great philosophical traditions of India, China, and the Persian-Arabic world.

Accessible for students and revelatory to enthusiasts of philosophy, Grayling's narrative brings to life the work of both famous historical figures and less well-known but influential thinkers, bridging epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, political philosophy, and the history of debates within these areas of enquiry. He dramatizes the interchange between and within eras and epochs, making thrilling the grand dance of human thought. He asks what we have learned, but also what progress is still to be made.

Destined to be Grayling's magnum opus, and astonishing in its range and accessibility, this is a landmark work.

©2019 A. C. Grayling (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Grayling presents an impressive, comprehensive catalogue of great thought and thinkers in this sweeping survey [....] Perhaps Grayling’s greatest strength lies in his ability to categorize, contrast, and clarify complex ideas, such as Plato’s theory of forms and Kant’s categorical imperative. Elegant, clear, and precise [...] Grayling’s superb work is an indispensable resource for any “serious student of ideas.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"Grayling offers a remarkably comprehensive history of philosophy from ancient Greece to the present. He covers not only Western philosophy but Indian, Chinese, Arabic-Persian, and African philosophy as well, and his skill as an expositor is apparent.... This work will interest readers of philosophy and intellectual history. It aims at general audiences, but scholars will also find it valuable." (Library Journal, starred review)

“A magnificent recapping of the history of philosophy, as it stands apart from theology, in the classic model of Bertrand Russell, as ‘an invitation and an entrance’.... [I]t is a delight to engage in this sweeping history of the great thinkers throughout the ages, from pre-Socratics to the present.... Grayling's accessible omnibus will provide a stepping stone for the student or novice.” (Kirkus Reviews

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