The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Reinaissance

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9780140252743: The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Reinaissance

This work is a history of philosophy from the 6th century BC. It introduces the outstanding philosophers and their extraordinary ideas. Philosophy is a subject with a long history and a short memory. In retracing that history, Anthony Gottlieb's aim is to approach the story of philosophy as a good journalist ought to: to rely only on primary sources, wherever they still exist; to question everything that has become conventional wisdom; and, above all, to try and explain it all as clearly as possible. The reader engages with both the personalities and the arguments of every major philosopher from ancient Greece to the birth of modern philosophy in the 17th century. The modern era is addressed in a second volume. This volume is an introduction to the puzzling personalities of the philosophers, as well as a sensitive and persuasive presentation of their views.

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An exceptionally rich, intelligible and illuminating history of Western philosopy from the sixth century BC to the Renaissance, "The Dream Of Reason" provides an introduction to the puzzling personalities of the philosophers, as well as an extremely sensitive and persuasive presentation of their views.

Review:

Executive editor of the Economist, Anthony Gottlieb is one of the contributors to the recent collection of excellent essays in The Great Philosophers. His latest achievement, The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance is not only superbly written, but is, quite literally, enchanting.

The book is divided into three parts. Part one begins with the Milesians and includes the Pythagoreans, Heroclitus, Parmenides, Zeno, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Democritus, and the Sophists. Part two concerns Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, while the final part deals with the Epicureans, the Stoics, the Skeptics, and ends with a survey of the philosophers from late antiquity to the Renaissance. His aim, he tells us, is to "approach the story of philosophy as a journalist ought to: to rely only on primary sources; to question everything that has become conventional wisdom; and above all, to try to explain it all as clearly as I could". The fruit of this ambitious 10-year project is a compelling history of philosophy with genuinely revelatory power destined to become one of the books of the year. Not only does one come away with a new-found reverence for the ancient philosophers and the largely unacknowledged debt we moderns debt we owe them,--particularly Parmenides, Democritus and Epicurus--but he has the gift of making the old familiar names breathe again.

This is not a book to be dipped into in search of favourites, but is rather a book to be read cover to cover in order to expose oneself to the cumulative force of the narrative. Accessible and immensely enjoyable, it is difficult to imagine a better book of its kind in recent years. Beginners, intermediates and even professionals should all get something out of The Dream of Reason. Volume two is on the way, and if the first part is anything to go by, it should be well worth waiting for. --Larry Brown

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Anthony Gottlieb
Published by Penguin (2001)
ISBN 10: 0140252746 ISBN 13: 9780140252743
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Book Description Penguin, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Reinaissance Brand new item sourced directly from publisher. Packed securely in tight packaging to ensure no damage. Shipped from warehouse on same/next day basis. Bookseller Inventory # 1111-9780140252743

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