Paul Strathern


Born
in The United Kingdom
January 01, 1940

Genre


Paul Strathern (born 1940) is a British writer and academic. He was born in London, and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, after which he served in the Merchant Navy over a period of two years. He then lived on a Greek island. In 1966 he travelled overland to India and the Himalayas. His novel A Season in Abyssinia won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1972.

Besides five novels, he has also written numerous books on science, philosophy, history, literature, medicine and economics.

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Descartes in 90 Minutes

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“I'd like to hear your opinion on this piece of Beethoven. And remember, it is not Beethoven who is being examined here.”
Paul Strathern, Wittgenstein in 90 Minutes

“The myth persists in Egypt to this day that Napoleon’s soldiers actually disfigured some of these ruins, and are even said to have used the Sphinx as target practice for their cannons, shooting off its nose. This last is a calumny: it is known that the Sphinx was defaced as early as the eighth century by the Sufi iconoclast Saim-ed-Dahr,28 and was further damaged in 1380 by fanatical Muslims prompted by the Koran’s strictures against images. During these early times the Sphinx was not regarded as a precious historical object, but instead inspired fear: through the centuries it became known to the Egyptians as Abul-Hol (Father of Terrors), and would only begin to be regarded more favorably when it became a tourist attraction in the later nineteenth century.”
Paul Strathern, Napoleon in Egypt

“Ultimately Russell himself admitted that he made his greatest efforts in the field of traditional philosophy – in epistemology, the search for the ultimate grounds of our knowledge about the world. How can we be certain that what we claim to know is true? Where lies the certainty in our experience of the world? Can even the most precise knowledge – such as mathematics – be said to rest on any sure logical foundation? These were the questions that Russell sought to answer during the periods of his most profound philosophical thinking. They have remained the perennial questions of philosophy from Plato and Aristotle through Descartes, Hume, and Kant, to Russell and Wittgenstein.”
Paul Strathern, Bertrand Russell: Philosophy in an Hour

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