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History of Western Philosophy (Routledge Classics)

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My main problem with the total rejection of the possibility of any sense that there might be ‘truth’ (which Russell, as might be expected, confines to logical statements) has always had a bit of a smell about it. Russell shows how philosophy has evolved from a focus on things to a focus on process, bringing it in alignment with quantum physics. C., Introduction to: Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy (2004); London: The Folio Society, pg xi. This 895-pager (including the index), could alternatively have been titled, just as fittingly, and perhaps even more accurately, "Bertrand Russell's Opinions of Western Philosophers".

The leading British philosopher of the twentieth century, who made major contributions in the areas of logic and epistemology. This is why a book made up of essays by various authors is apt to be less interesting as an entity than a book by one man.I’ve listened to a Teaching Company ‘Great Ideas In Philosophy’ course which covered all of the philosophers discussed here, and I think Russell does at least as good a job as was done there. This is because the book is not a mere history of philosophy, a mere account of ideas, by any stretch. For the most part this is fair, be Russell does seem to read his own views back into the history he is discussing quite a bit. Como se depreenderá, este cenário faz de Russell um racionalista, e é exatamente por isso que precisamos de ler todo o livro com algumas cautelas. I had thought that I would find the middle section on Catholics the least interesting – I believe that we ‘moderns’ feel we have much more in common with Ancients than we do with the Catholic scholastics of the dark and middle ages – but Russell is very kind to these philosophers, although in the main I found them to be little more than pedants adding Christian footnotes to Plato and Aristotle.

So having read only modern philosophy(about 400 pages) , I can say that Bertrand Russell is pretty concise, accessible and definitely based; and he's not trying to hide it.This makes the experience of reading Russell's opinions like having an intelligent conversation with a fellow-reader. Por outro lado, a História termina em 1945, o que deixa de fora muito do que se germinava nesses anos e viria a ganhar relevo, para além de toda a segunda metade do século XX. In seventy-six chapters he traces philosophy from the rise of Greek civilization to the emergence of logical analysis in the twentieth century. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate?

And, though you now have my opinion as well, don't let that deter you from approaching this well-written work. He credited Russell with drawing attention to the logical side of Leibniz's philosophy, but questioned Russell's view that there is a sharp distinction between Leibniz's "popular philosophy" and his "esoteric doctrine". Russell's discussion of Socrates and his relationship to Plato is worth reading the book on its own. The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was “given” by a foreign Power to another people for the creation of a new State. Thomas Aquinas for intellectual dishonesty, finding arguments for positions they have decided in advance rather than engaging in pure inquiry.Instead it has belonged to the amateurs of philosophy, in the sense of both those who love the pursuit and those who read it in their own time for their own instruction. Russell is consistently opinionated throughout his presentation and it might confuse some of the readers that he is so casual in writing off some of the major philosophers and their key ideas. There are, however, a number of allusions to him in Aristotle, and it seems incredible that these (which include textual quotations) would have occurred if he had been merely a myth. Highly readable, very amusing, full of instruction, even when it needs the correctives of closer scholarship, it is one of the monuments of twentieth-century philosophy and literature.

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