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A Short History of Philosophy

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  167 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In this accessible and comprehensive work, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins cover the entire history of philosophy--ancient, medieval, and modern, from cultures both East and West--in its broader historical and cultural contexts. Major philosophers and movements are discussed along with less well-known but interesting figures. The authors examine the early Greek, Indic, ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 4th 1996)
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Jeremy Allan
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy-etc
This book attempts a fairly impossible task and does it fairly well: a short history of philosophy that covers the main European tradition thoroughly while still giving proper attention to (nearly) all subdisciplines as well as world philosophies. When I say it accomplishes its task "fairly well," this doesn't mean that the book is exactly a success, but rather it is a good failure. Telling the story of philosophy is problematic, when trying to consider which writers and thinkers to include, whe ...more
Robert
May 29, 2008 rated it liked it
A clear and engagingly written book, that falls completely flat on its face after Kant. It gives a broad and even-handed look at many before Kant... but once they come to the home-stretch, these authors close their eyes and race for the finish line.

I may be overly sentimental toward some of the persons and concepts that this text gives short shrift to, but I think the authors also make a profound mistake in their misunderstanding of the possibilities represented by recent criticism and thinking
...more
Aykut Özkan
bir sayısalcı için pek de kısa değil .s
Erin
May 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
I wasn't sure what rating to give this book. As the title suggests, it's hardly a page-turner; on the other hand--again, as the title suggests--it clearly isn't trying to be. As a matter of fact, the book is a fairly easy read--and it is, indeed, short: all of world philosophy in 300 pages. I know next to nothing about philosophy, and this book was my first step on the road to philosophical self-improvement. (If you don't know what that means, that's fine; I don't know either.) I plan to move on ...more
Sean
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
The Twentieth Century saw the meteoric rise of empirical realism, which is, the belief that the observable universe is as it appears and it can be deeply understood through the rigorous analysis of experiential evidence. This rise is in no small part due to its immense success: among other things, it is the epistemology (and, for that matter, ontology) that allowed for the development of computers and the Internet. Philosophy has latched on to empirical realism, and like the dog that finally cat ...more
Mick
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
This will not be a review of the book per se, for the simple reason that I am not qualified to do so adequately. I have studied a little classical philosophy at university, but that was years back. I am interested in philosophy, but hardly have the level of expertise needed to do an adequate review. So instead I will limit myself to what I liked, and what I disliked.

There are two main areas of philosophy that intrigue me at the moment: pre-Socratic Greek philosophy and medieval Scholasticism. Bo
...more
Mary Karpel-Jergic
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This is an ambitious book, almost an impossibility; so this husband and wife team should be applauded for attempting such a heroic task. It's very difficult to retain the wide array of information that is provided although the authors do their best to make links wherever possible. The historical links that philosophy has with mythology and religion are very interesting narratives but the later parts of the history - from the enlightenment onwards - could have done with a few graphics, maybe flow ...more
David S. T.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, philosophy
To keep this as a short history, the authors of this book tried to keep it around 300ish pages, yet they tried to cover as much as possible of both eastern and western philosophies. Obviously with this difficult task each philosopher is only briefly covered (some with only a few paragraphs). With this speed, I think that many who don't already have a knowledge of philosophy or haven't read some other histories will be confused by the constant introduction of new people. What I did like about thi ...more
Kevin Montes
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
As a beginner in philosophy, I found this book very helpful. It's a great summary that seemed to cover a wide range of approaches and contributors to mostly the Western but also the Eastern tradition. Fairly unbiased and easy to read, I recommend it to anyone interested in grasping a deeper understanding of philosophy and how it has developed.
Ashley Bessire
Mar 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
I took a philosophy class in AP English in high school, and unfortunately some (um.....maybe 70%??) went in one ear and out the other. i think i had been daydreaming. Anyway, Solomons review of philosophy was perfect. It chronologically touches on all aspects of philosphy. A good read if you have any interest in philosophy or just need to brush up on it. ...more
John Roberson
A fantastic second or third survey of philosophy. Gives a balanced presentation of philosophy across the world, and it's surprisingly readable for a book written by philosophers. Underlying the entire book is the thesis that philosophy should be about the real world of real people, not strictly a specialized discipline for eggheads.
Jeffrey
Jun 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
OK, if you're looking for a good primer on philosophy, and looking to continue your study of humankind (why we do what we do as the humanrace--philosophy, math, science, arts, etc.) then this is a good book to understand philosophy, it's history, and those who made it.
Sarah
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Good overview of major philospophical themes.
Vera
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads
An excellent read if you want to know more about philosophy as a whole, but don't need extreme attention to details. This was easy to read, and just in depth enough for me.
Projwal Shrestha
Apr 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book is brief, and carries a rich history from the Greeks to contemporary philosophy. A good overview of the subject.
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