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The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers (1926)

by Will Durant, Ariel Durant (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,193302,786 (3.93)34
A brilliant and concise account of the lives and ideas of the great philosophers--Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, Schopenhauer, Spencer, Nietzsche, Bergson, Croce, Russell, Santayana, James, and Dewey--The Story of Philosophy is one of the great books of our time. Few write for the non-specialist as well as Will Durant, and this book is a splendid example of his eminently readable scholarship. Durant's insight and wit never cease to dazzle; The Story of Philosophy is a key book for any reader who wishes to survey the history and development of philosophical ideas in the Western world.… (more)
  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.
  2. 01
    Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder (Cecrow)
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» See also 34 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Dramatic and opinionated review of the great thought-leaders of the Western canon. Misinterpreted Hellenistic philosophy schools, in my mind. Nevertheless, presents history and philosophical questions with a flourish and entertaining style. ( )
  KKBucher | Feb 13, 2024 |
A wonderful digest of greatest philosophical thinkers and their thoughts. ( )
  harishwriter | Oct 12, 2023 |
1962 Times Reading Program Special Edition, Times Inc. New York
Plato,Aristotle ,Francis Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer ,Herbert Spencer,Freidrich Nietzsche,
Contemporary European, Contemporary American
  iwb | May 18, 2023 |
Qué lindo libro. ( )
  Alvaritogn | Jul 1, 2022 |
A mammoth book that covers much of the landscape of philosophy - in the Western world at least - from the Ancient Greeks up to the Americans Dewey and James. There's a huge amount here, but the book is well-written and never lags - while I can't say I learned a great deal from this brief survey of philosophic luminaries (the fault is mine, btw), I have become far more interested in the field, and feel ready to approach some of the original texts. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Aug 9, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (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.
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Durant, WillAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Durant, ArielAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Šuvajeva, AndželaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ījabs, IvarsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lieblein, MuniCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vēvere, VelgaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
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.
First words
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.
Quotations
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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A brilliant and concise account of the lives and ideas of the great philosophers--Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, Schopenhauer, Spencer, Nietzsche, Bergson, Croce, Russell, Santayana, James, and Dewey--The Story of Philosophy is one of the great books of our time. Few write for the non-specialist as well as Will Durant, and this book is a splendid example of his eminently readable scholarship. Durant's insight and wit never cease to dazzle; The Story of Philosophy is a key book for any reader who wishes to survey the history and development of philosophical ideas in the Western world.

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