History of Western Philosophy (Routledge Classics)

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History of Western Philosophy (Routledge Classics)

History of Western Philosophy (Routledge Classics)

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Russell shows how philosophy has evolved from a focus on things to a focus on process, bringing it in alignment with quantum physics.

Since its first publication in 1945 Lord Russell's A History of Western Philosophy has been universally acclaimed as the outstanding one-volume work on the subject—unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace and wit.Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, was a Welsh philosopher, historian, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, pacifist, and prominent rationalist. Corrections and minor revisions were made to printings of the British first edition and for 1961's new edition; no corrections seem to have been transferred to the American edition (even Spinoza's birth year remains wrong).

I’ve read in the pages of other philosophy books that Russell gives too much coverage to ancient rather than modern philosophy; that his coverage of certain philosophers fails to give a sufficient or true account of them; that his writing is often over opinionated. Not only is this an excellent primer on all the major Western philosophers and an impressive synthesis of the evolution of philosophic thought over a 2500-year span, it's also one of the wittier books I've ever read. Since 1945, the year of publication of this book, there has been much progress in philosophy and science and there have been major turning points in the history of ideas; so if Russell has the last word on these issues is to be doubted. Invaluable is a word that is grossly overused on this site – particularly by me – but I do think this book gives an invaluable helicopter view of the history of Western Philosophy that is both accessible and often profound.

I first read this as a young man in the early 50's and it has informed my thinking more than I can describe. Seems that civilization needs much more of this "curiosity to understand the world" which is all over the place within this book.

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