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How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In the first global overview of philosophy, Julian Baggini travels the world to provide a wide-ranging map of human thought. One of the great unexplained wonders of human history is that written philosophy flowered entirely separately in China, India and Ancient Greece at more or less the same time. These early philosophies have had a profound impact on the development of ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published October 4th 2018 by Granta Books (first published October 2018)
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3.65  · 
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 ·  52 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Reading this book aloud in the car, discovering gems together over Kopi and Roti Prata, letting a stranger skim through it just before the start of a lecture, discussing it with my boss after a workshop, trying to explain its gist to a curious 7-year-old. These were my favourite memories of reading this one.

And as I travelled for work and play, through car and taxi rides, brought it from café to café, drunk cups of Caramel Latte/Kopi-C Peng/Genmaicha while I nibbled on doughnuts, woke up early
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ever since I began teaching philosophy in the 1990's I've tried to expand the canon and to include non-Western elements in my teaching. These movements have gained momentum more broadly in the academy in recent years, and so I've been trying to expand my understanding so I can be a better philosopher and a better teacher. I hadn't yet seen a good introductory text one might use for global philosophy.

And this book still isn't that, but it quite good. This is not a book one could assign in an intr
Jelger Beltman
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Capturing the wisdom of this book in a review is next to impossible. The mind-expanding collections of philosophies really paint a beautiful picture of the world. The differences between individual freedom and social harmony explain the shortcomings of the western ways of thinking. The idea of total responsibility of the self that is becoming more common around the world is broken down. For it is ignorant to assume that the self is something indepentent. This book is one of the best summaries of ...more
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, philosophy
He elaborates seemingly-indifferent concepts of different parts of the world together under certain blanket words (as in index), and it works.

I found some chapters boring, as they seem to be a mere array of thoughts by using the corresponding words in foreign languages. Sometimes I could hardly follow what he says because they were too foreign to me, both the styles and the concepts. However, I was fascinated most of the time and especially by his explanations of Japanese philosophy. Although a
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting thematic (rather than regional) overview of global philosophy, taking a comparative approach to find similarities between disparate traditions. Very much aimed at Western audiences, and relatively top level - and so an accessible, easy, occasionally thought-provoking read as a result.

Given the author is aware of and open about the limitations of such an approach, if there's an unintentional flaw it's that it starts to peter out towards the end, with some ideas seeming a bit repetitiv
Mike Steinharter
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I so wanted to learn from this book; Understanding philosophies from around the world sounded quite interesting and it grabbed my attention at the bookstore and no doubt the author’s experience is extensive, but the writing just didn’t invite me in to learn and understand. To be fair, i enjoyed a number of parts of the books, such as the chapter on Japanese relational self and the anecdotes that illustrate it. But he jumps around way too much for me and I found myself skimming more often than I ...more
Max Gwynne
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
A fantastically enlightening book written with great intelligence by Baggini, a man who has certainly done an impressive about of research into the subject matter. However his writing style bogs the book down in density, unnecessarily so, and drags my rating down from a book that could easily have been a 5 star rating.
Alex G
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book - fascinating reading, well put together, clearly written and full of things to think about.
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Julian Baggini is a British philosopher and the author of several books about philosophy written for a general audience. He is the author of The Pig that Wants to be Eaten and 99 other thought experiments (2005) and is co-founder and editor of The Philosophers' Magazine. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1996 from University College London for a thesis on the philosophy of personal identity. In addition ...more