Bruce's Reviews > Philosophic Classics, Vol 1: Thales to Ockham

Philosophic Classics, Vol 1 by Walter Kaufmann
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May 13, 12

Read from June 30, 2011 to May 13, 2012

This book is my first step in reading works of the great philosophers themselves, rather than the many histories of philosophy I've hitherto perused. Now I'll go on to volume II, which begins with Francis Bacon.

Reading this volume has been a thrilling experience. To read the actual (though translated) words of such men as Plato and Aristotle, and even the legendary Pythagoras, brings one to the vanguard of those who wrestle with the major issues whose outcomes have determined the fate of civilizations -- and are now determining the fate of our own.

This is an anthology of edited works, and, despite the generous selections chosen intelligently by Walter Kaufmann, I realize that if I am to continue my philosophical education, I'll have to move on to complete works, and even learn a little of the original languages. For now, however, I'm very happy to have read this.
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Bruce For so many years I've read histories of philosophy, and I'm finding Kaufmann's anthology an ideal segueway into the primary sources themselves. This will take awhile, for his selections are generous, but I'm finding it so much more edifying to read the philosophers' words themselves rather than summaries.


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