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The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and…
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The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest… (original 1926; edition 1991)

by Will Durant

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2,614202,289 (3.9)28
Member:Kanhaiya_Arora
Title:The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers
Authors:Will Durant
Info:Pocket Books (1991), Mass Market Paperback, 528 pages
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The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant (1926)

Recently added bybertilak, jekataoka, iu, DReicht, private library, AshRyan, Myronas
Legacy LibrariesSylvia Plath, Carl Sandburg, Theodore Dreiser, Eeva-Liisa Manner
1920s (91)
  1. 10
    The Age of Faith by Will Durant (gmknowles)
    gmknowles: Will Durant has many books on history. Well written and absorbing, while allowing the reader or student to gain a good historical grasp.
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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
I must recommend this book as strongly as possible, and encourage all who entertain even the slightest interest in Philosophy towards the reading of it.

Some certainly complain that the Author inserts his own commentary at times, and picks and chooses what great names to discuss within his book, essentially an overview of the history of Philosophy. This might well be true, but it's certainly not overly biased or strident. Indeed I found it to be balanced and nuanced throughout, and a simple reading will suffice to convince all but the most pre-judging of readers why the inclusion of such names as Herbert and Dewey are all but required material for this book.

It's excellently written, with the brilliantly poetic and memorable turn of phrase that marks Durant, quite possibly one of the greatest of the English language. The Author leaves the impression of great men, both in their greatness as well as their very human flaws. Hardly anyone leaves without both praise and admittance of error.

Highest Recommendation.

( )
1 vote wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
I must recommend this book as strongly as possible, and encourage all who entertain even the slightest interest in Philosophy towards the reading of it.

Some certainly complain that the Author inserts his own commentary at times, and picks and chooses what great names to discuss within his book, essentially an overview of the history of Philosophy. This might well be true, but it's certainly not overly biased or strident. Indeed I found it to be balanced and nuanced throughout, and a simple reading will suffice to convince all but the most pre-judging of readers why the inclusion of such names as Herbert and Dewey are all but required material for this book.

It's excellently written, with the brilliantly poetic and memorable turn of phrase that marks Durant, quite possibly one of the greatest of the English language. The Author leaves the impression of great men, both in their greatness as well as their very human flaws. Hardly anyone leaves without both praise and admittance of error.

Highest Recommendation.

( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
An excellent book. A must read for everyone who is interested to know the evolution of thoughts over last two thousands years. Highly recommended. ( )
  Awdhesh | Oct 8, 2014 |
Really had to work to finish this one. I guess having been a failed student of philosophy (that is, I gave it up rather early on), I can't criticize this with too much precision, but this piece of work really felt like it was misnamed. If anything, it should have been "here are some philosophers, some you should know about and others you can quickly forget." Not really, but.... The gaps felt like bigger pieces of the story than the story itself, in many cases. Of course, I know this was first published in 1926, so the perspective on the overall picture was a fair bit different. Nonetheless, I can't say that I'd recommend this to anyone. ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
Philosophy, a word that so often spring out in conversations. But what does it mean? Where does it come from? Who were the people who made it so important for us? What were their main ideas?

If you like this subject and you, like me, feel utterly lost amidst the vast world (or should I say worlds?) of this field of knowledge, and you're serious into grasping its profound insights and scope, this is the book where you should start.

One of its striking features is the way that Will Durant, the author of this story, guides you through the main characters that made philosophy what it is today, with a passion and insight that are only available to those that truly love this subject.

The book is slightest dated towards the more recent authors (namely the 1st half 20th century philosophers), but this is just a small detail that doesn't make the book less valuable – it's still a priceless resource to provide the reader with a good view of the history of philosophy as a whole. ( )
  henrique.maia | Aug 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
To sum up, then, Dr. Durant's book deserves a wide reading, but it lacks the continuity, the historical scope that a history of philosophy must have. As an appetizer, The Story of Philosophy should be unstintingly recommended, but twenty-five hundred years of thought cannot be popularized in such small compass; and the danger is that the majority of readers will think that they have now traversed the vast field of speculative thought since antiquity.
added by eromsted | editThe Philosophical Review, A. A. Roback (pay site) (Mar 1, 1927)
 
Not being intended as a contribution to original scholarship, but rather as a work of art, the book deserves something better than a meticulous picking of flaws which are half the time mere differences of interpretation and emphasis. Dr. Durant reaches real eloquence in the chapters of Spinoza, Bacon, Voltaire, Spencer, and Nietzsche, men for whom he feels a real enthusiasm and of whom he writes with evident gusto. If we mistake not, many readers will admire the book for these chapters alone.
 
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To my wife; Grow strong, my comrade...that you may stand / Unshaken when I fall; that I may know / The shattered fragments of my song will come / At last to finer melody in you; / That I may tell my heart that you begin / Where passing I leave off, and fathom more.
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There is a pleasure in philosophy, and a lure even in the mirages of metaphysics, which every student feels until the coarse necessities of physical existence drag him from the heights of thought into the mart of economic strife and gain.
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The author would like to record here a debt which he can never repay, to Alden Freeman, who gave him education, travel, and the inspiration of a noble and enlightened life. May this best of friends find in these pages--incidental and imperfect though they are--something not quite unworthy of his generosity and his faith.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671739166, Mass Market Paperback)

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. Beginning with Socrates and ending with American philosopher John Dewey, Durant summarizes the lives and influence of philosophy's greatest thinkers, painting them with humanity and adding a few of his own wise platitudes. Seventy-some years after its first printing, The Story of Philosophy still stands as one of the best of its kind.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:40 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Chronicles the ideas of the great thinkers, the economic and intellectual environments which influenced them, and the personal traits and adventures out of which each philosophy grew.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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