A Passion for Wisdom: A Very Brief History of Philosophy

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Oxford University Press, 1998 - Philosophy - 137 pages
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Readers eager to acquire a basic familiarity with the history of philosophy but intimidated by the task will find in A Passion for Wisdom a lively, accessible, and highly enjoyable tour of the world's great ideas. Here, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins tell the story of philosophy's development with great clarity and refreshing wit.
The authors begin with the most ancient religious beliefs of the east and west and bring us right up to the feminist and multicultural philosophies of the present. Along the way, they highlight major philosophers, from Plato and the Buddha to William James and Simone de Beauvoir, and explore major categories, from metaphysics and ethics to politics and logic. The book is enlivened as well by telling anecdotes and sparkling quotations. Among many memorable observations, we're treated to Thomas Hobbes' assessment that life is "nasty, brutish, and short" and Hegel's description of Napoleon as "world history on horseback." Engaging, comprehensive, and delightfully written, A Passion for Wisdom is a splendid introduction to an intellectual tradition that reaches back over three thousand years.
 

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Contents

Whence the World? Early Philosophy in India
9
Confucius Taoism and Mo
22
Plato and Aristotle
36
Faith and Reason
51
Mysticism and Zen
59
Who Knows? The Role of Doubt in Descartes and Montaigne
72
Enlightenment
80
Adam Smith and the New World of Commerce
87
Hegel and History
94
Kierkegaard Feuerbach and Marx
101
Philosophy in America
108
Wittgenstein Freud and Weber
116
Positivism and Existentialism
122
A Brief Bibliography
129
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About the author (1998)


Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins are both Professors of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. This is their seventh book together.

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