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The European Philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche
“Between the earliest and the latest of the works included here, we have two hundred and fifty years of vigorous and adventurous philosophizing,” Monroe Beardsley writes in his Introduction to this collection. “If the modern period can be only vaguely or arbitrarily bounded, it can at least be studied, and we can ask whether any dominant themes, overall patterns of movemen ...more
Paperback, 944 pages
Published November 12th 2002 by Modern Library
(first published 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 223)
It (and Western civilization) was all downhill after Spinoza (it just took art, politics a few centuries, and technology an additional century, to catch up and fall behind, as Yogi Berra might put it). Considering it as anthology (form) or philosophy (content), I can't give it any more than three stars (especially considering the modern progression from Rousseau to Mach--Nietzsche was a confused ray of hope at the end that accomplished little aside from influencing a young Ayn Rand). Beardsley c ...more
A great collection of synthesized writings from some of the greatest European philosophers. This book can serve as introductory guide to the style and ideas of Decartes, Leibniz, Pascal, Spinoza, Comte, Kant, Rousseau, Hegel, Mach and Nietzche. The editor has picked a wealth of works that paint a thorough canvas of the life and works of each author. For example Nietzhes works ‘The Superman,’ ‘Will To Power’ and ‘The Good and Evil,’ allow readers to get good understanding of the author’s evolutio ...more
Jun 20, 2008 Nikki rated it 5 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommends it for: those wanting a basic knowledge of major philosophers and their most significant ideas.
This book is a compilation of the most common problems that occupied the attention of the major European philosophers during the span of nearly three centuries. To name some of the philosophers included, you'll find Descartes' Discourse on Method, Spinoza's Nature of Evil, Leibniz' Relation Between Soul and Body, Rousseau's Social Contract, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Hegel's Introduction to the Philosophy of History, Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, etc.
This was my first journey into Spinoza, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Mach. I'm glad to have been introduced, though I still don't feel intimately familiar with any of them. It was nice to be able to recognize certain small connections in their general discourses, though I walk away with little more than an outline sketch with which to locate their voices.
Jul 19, 2008 Jory Cook rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Narcissists, Massochists, patient and sincere readers of philosophy
I am perpetually "currently reading" this book, and yet I have not finished it yet. I really dug Pascal... Spinoza's writing is kind of difficult. I don't yet see what Einstein loved about him. But then again, I'm not Einstein.