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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 (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,609232,635 (3.92)33
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)
Member:Aditi1698
Title:The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers
Authors:Will Durant (Author)
Info:Pocket Books (1991), Edition: 2nd edition, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Philosophy, B1 6. Borrowed by Adiit from..

Work details

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

  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 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Finally I have finished this behemoth of a book -- not necessarily of physical size but because of the weight of the thought and knowledge inscribed within. The amount of wisdom and enlightenment that Durant crams into this work is phenomenal. So many different schools of thinking are introduced within these pages.

Reading The Story of Philosophy is the equivalent of Olympic training for the mind. As you read your way through the chapters, one perceives change occurring in one's own thought. Dogmatic beliefs are shattered. So many of these differing philosophies beg contemplation. Deep contemplation in return brings about more questions that begs the reader to pick the source texts of these learned men and to read their own words; to decrypt, solve, and pick apart their thoughts so that in return they sharpen and brighten your own.

This was for me a fantastic introduction to the world of Philosophy. I've read other "Philosophy 101" books but Will Durant's opus was supreme. It was a challenging read but a beneficial one. Challenging not so much in language but in the deciphering of the ideas and thoughts of these thinkers. That deciphering is the key to it all. To think and contemplate, to examine and observe, to dive deeply into one's intellect is truly the sweet fruit of life. ( )
  ProfessorEX | Apr 15, 2021 |
This work is amazing, a gem. It was a long read for me, not because it was lengthy, but because I spent more time contemplating after every few pages, while I was reading the book.
The expressions and choice of words makes this really poetry. If the quality of communication is what makes something a work of art, then this book qualifies as enduring art. Furthermore, there is this pervading earnestness that only comes from one who is invested in what he writes about; it is no mere intellectual juggernaut tour de force.

The lives and thinking of Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, Schopenhauer, Spencer and Nietzsche form the contents with two chapters devoted to European and American philosophers. Kant's supreme principal of morality suggests our happiness be put on the back burner and that we do our duty remains the most interesting to me. Kant argues that a person is good or bad depending on the motivation of their actions and not on the goodness of the consequences of those actions. It is fascinating stuff and more tangible than many other theories or examinations.
Durant writes with clarity and in rich detail so the contents of this book is to be savoured, discussed and debated.

This is very well articulated synthesis of the evolution of thought.
I would heartily recommend this book! ( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
This work is amazing, a gem. It was a long read for me, not because it was lengthy, but because I spent more time contemplating after every few pages, while I was reading the book.
The expressions and choice of words makes this really poetry. If the quality of communication is what makes something a work of art, then this book qualifies as enduring art. Furthermore, there is this pervading earnestness that only comes from one who is invested in what he writes about; it is no mere intellectual juggernaut tour de force.

The lives and thinking of Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, Schopenhauer, Spencer and Nietzsche form the contents with two chapters devoted to European and American philosophers. Kant's supreme principal of morality suggests our happiness be put on the back burner and that we do our duty remains the most interesting to me. Kant argues that a person is good or bad depending on the motivation of their actions and not on the goodness of the consequences of those actions. It is fascinating stuff and more tangible than many other theories or examinations.
Durant writes with clarity and in rich detail so the contents of this book is to be savoured, discussed and debated.

This is very well articulated synthesis of the evolution of thought.
I would heartily recommend this book! ( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
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. ( )
  adsicuidade | Sep 8, 2018 |
A survey of the thoughts of the world's great philosophers that becomes tedious when trying to read in one go. ( )
  M_Clark | Apr 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (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 (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Durant, WillAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Durant, ArielAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Šuvajeva, AndželaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ījabs, IvarsTranslatorsecondary 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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