The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books

Front Cover
A&C Black, Dec 24, 2006 - Philosophy - 181 pages
3 Reviews

The essential guide to the top twenty greatest books in philosophy for those who have just never quite found the time to read them.

In this witty and engaging book, James Garvey offers an introductory account of the must-read books from the whole history of philosophical writing. From Plato to Popper, Descartes to Wittgenstein, the greatest books in philosophy have had a huge impact on the development of contemporary society, politics, economics and culture. This entertaining and intelligent guide introduces the philosophical questions central to these books that are of genuine interest to the general reader and opens up often complex and challenging ideas for wider debate.

This is the ideal book for those coming to philosophy for the first time. Garvey introduces the key themes and terms in philosophy before exploring each of the twenty great philosophy books with humour and clarity. The book presupposes no background in philosophy and encourages the reader to actively engage in philosophical thinking.The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Booksis the essential guide for anyone with an interest in this fascinating subject.

The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books are Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy , Hobbes's Leviathan, Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge, Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Rousseau's Social Contract, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation, Marx's Communist Manifesto, Mill's Utilitarianism, Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, James's Pragmatism, Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , Ayer's Language, Truth and Logic, Sartre's Being and Nothingness, de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HazelD - LibraryThing

A rather compelling synoposis of some of the most important philosophy books (Western Philosophy, ie Anglo-American, Continental, and their common heritage in the renaissance and before). Garvey has a very good way of explaining things and ordering information. Read full review

The twenty greatest philosophy books

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

It takes a brave man to summarize Thomas Aquinas'sSumma theologica in eight pages or G.W.F. Hegel'sPhenomenology in seven, but Garvey (philosophy, Nottingham Univ., UK) does a creditable job. He ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Plato Republic
7
Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics
16
St Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologiae
24
Kciic Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy
32
Thomas Hobbes Leviathan
40
John Locke An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
48
George Berkeley A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
56
Arthur Schopenhauer The World as Will and Representation
95
Karl Marx The Communist Manifesto
103
John Stuart Mill Utilitarianism
112
Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spoke Zarathustra
121
Karl Popper The Logic of Scientific Discovery
129
A J Ayer Language Truth and Logic
137
JeanPaul Sartre Being and Nothingness
146
Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex
153

David Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
64
JeanJacques Rousseau The Social Contract
72
Immanuel Kant Critique of Pure Reason
80
G W F Hegel The Phenomenology of Spirit
88
Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations
160
Bibliography
168
Index
176
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Page 169 - My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way : anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them as steps to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.) He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.

About the author (2006)

James Garvey is Secretary of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, UK. He is the author of The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books and The Ethics of Climate Change, also published by Continuum.

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