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How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy

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* SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*
'There to fill the Sapiens-size hole in your life' Observer
In this groundbreaking global overview of philosophy, Julian Baggini travels the world to provide a wide-ranging map of human thought.


One of the great unexplained wonders of human history is that written philosophy flowered entirely separately in China, India and Ancient Greece at more or less the same time. These early philosophies have had a profound impact on the development of distinctive cultures in different parts of the world. What we call 'philosophy' in the West is not even half the story.

Julian Baggini sets out to expand our horizons in How the World Thinks, exploring the philosophies of Japan, India, China and the Muslim world, as well as the lesser-known oral traditions of Africa and Australia's first peoples. Interviewing thinkers from around the globe, Baggini asks questions such as: why is the West is more individualistic than the East? What makes secularism a less powerful force in the Islamic world than in Europe? And how has China resisted pressures for greater political freedom?

Offering deep insights into how different regions operate, and paying as much attention to commonalities as to differences, Baggini shows that by gaining greater knowledge of how others think we take the first step to a greater understanding of ourselves.

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Review:

Praise for How the World Thinks:

'There to fill the Sapiens-sized hole in your life' Observer

'This bold and fascinating book seeks to inhabit other philosophical traditions, with humility but without patronisingly exempting them from the critique he applies to ours... Deft [and] rigorous' Financial Times

'Timely and important... This is his best [book] to date... Enthralling... This ingenious and open-hearted book is about the art of living well, something the West's philosophy has often neglected' Scotland on Sunday

'Fascinating and unexpected... A dazzling kaleidoscope... [Baggini] has a true gift for making the difficult accessible in lapidary prose... Worth reading and re-reading' Arts Desk

'[For] a broader audience of philosophical training... [Baggini] is cheerful and wide-eyed, moving from one big idea to another like a food lover at an opulent banquet' TLS

'One of the great philosophical popularisers of his age... Baggini summarises and explicates with the greatest precision, compression and élan' Tablet

'Eye-opening' Prospect

'Ground-breaking' Oxford Times

'Highly readable' Times Higher Education

'If you've ever wondered why the West tends to reward individual success, why some religions prioritise speech and some silence, or what lessons can be drawn by comparing Vincent Van Gogh and Michael Winner, this is a book for you' History Revealed

'A brilliantly accessible coalescence of thought and belief from around the world... A triumph of comparative philosophy with widespread relevance for the way we live today' Non-fiction Book of the Month November 2019, Waterstones

'Terrific. The intellectual and spiritual generosity of this book makes it an essential text for our fractious and dangerously divided era' Richard Holloway

'Such scope, and such lucid, lightly worn learning. Enlightening, perspective-shifting, mind-expanding - a superb tour through world philosophies with an erudite and friendly guide' --Sarah Bakewell

About the Author:

Julian Baggini's books include Welcome to Everytown: A Journey into the English Mind, What's It All About?: Philosophy and the Meaning of Life, the bestselling The Pig that Wants to be Eaten, Do They Think You're Stupid?, The Ego Trick, The Virtues of the Table: How to Eat and Think, and Freedom Regained, all published by Granta Books. He has written for various newspapers, magazines, academic journals and think tanks. His website is microphilosophy.net.

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