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A New History of Western Philosophy

(New History of Western Philosophy #1-4)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  299 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The individual volumes of Sir Anthony Kenny's acclaimed History of Western Philosophy have been hailed as "wonderful, authoritative, hugely rewarding" (Times Higher Education Supplement) and "genial and highly accessible" (London Review of Books). Now these four splendid books have been combined into one magnificent volume, providing a continuous sweeping account of the gr ...more
Hardcover, 1058 pages
Published October 7th 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published December 1st 2007)
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Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
A must read for all individuals seriously interested in the history of Western Philosophy. Reading this full book can be a significant but very rewarding undertaking. The only minor issue is in relation to trhe way this book is structured: I am not 100% sure that splitting each period into two parts (a relatively short history of the individual philosophers, followed by an analysis by thematic area) is necessarily the best approach, as it may cause a loss of focus on the system of thought and co ...more
Tso William
While intellectual history is a bird’s eye view of the intellectual landscape, a history of philosophy is a x-ray version of that landscape. A Gothic church has her beautiful stained glass windows, paintings and all other exquisite adornments but they merely suggest or altogether fail to tell us the underlying structure that supports the church itself. The relation between ideas and philosophy is similar. Philosophy reveals what is the underlying flows behind the intellectual ideas. It is, there ...more
Biblio Curious
What a great read!! I'll be unpacking these ideas and newly formed list of books to read for a long, long time! I feel like I just went through a very broad and relatively detailed overview of Western Philosophy.

Kenny's writing is informative, sometimes witty, concise and extremely organized. The Greek philosopher section was pretty dense as he was condensing a lot of information into those pages.

I'll review this book in more fun detail and link it here in a day or 2. I'm off to polish of the
Б. Ачболд
Философи сурахад хэд хэдэн төрлийн материал байвал нэмэртэй юм шиг:

1. Платон, Аристотель г.м. философичдын өөрсдийн бүтээл—анхдагч эх сурвалжтай тодорхой хэмжээнд танилцахгүйгээр философи сурна гэж байхгүй байх.
2. Ямар нэгэн төрлийн ‘нэвтэрхий толь’: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy интернэт дээр байнга шинэчлэгдэж байдаг мэдээж хамгийн шилдэг нь.
3. (Яваандаа) сурах бичиг маягийн номууд: epistemology [‘мэдэхүй’ гэхээр арай л биш]-ийн нэг ном, logic-ийн нэг ном, metaphysics [‘оршихуй’ гэхээр б
Alex Obrigewitsch
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book is so biased in its accounts and delivery. Be very aware of his while reading.
Devoting multiple sections to Wittgenstein (albeit his importance), while giving a pittance to Heidegger and a terrible view of Derrida which exudes its misunderstanding, for example, make its author's firm positioning in the analytic camp blatantly obvious
Richard Larsen
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent introduction and very readable. The topic,of course, is very difficult and thankfully, it is not dumbed down. If anyone understands Frege's symbolic logic or Wittgenstein in general, you are doing better than me.
Ben Holloway
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only problem with this book is that it ends. And at 996 pages that's saying something.

Kenny divided the book into four parts correlating to four epochs of philosophical history. Within each part are two sections, one devoted to the historical narrative and flow of ideas, the other devoted to an analysis of the key ideas within the period as they fall under the various sub-disciplines of philosophy.

Kenny's exposition of the key works of the western philosophical tradition is clear and fair.
Swarup Mondal
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Far better than Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy.
This book doesn't only provide information but also provides the reader the feeling, mainly because of the impersonal writing style.
John Conquest
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I should have Started with the Greeks™ tbh
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 stars: a very "traditional" approach to the history of philosophy that loses steam as it gets closer to the present. The structure — some initial chapters that present an outline of the period covered by that volume, followed by thematic chapters dedicated to each core topic — was very useful.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a good introduction of philosophy. I especially enjoyed the history of thought half of the book. However before buying this book one ought to be aware that it does focus more on topics such as metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of god at the expense of ethics and political philosophy- which were my focuses.
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Maybe I just wasn't in the mood, but after a few pages I gave up. Other reviewers thought this brilliant, so it probably is, but after reading the Coppleston series years ago and Betrand Russell's histories, I got lazy.
Madito Mahardika
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A super-eminent book for one who seek a clear insight of western philosophy from the very start.
packed in such a way as if one undergo their very pilgrimage to every idea that once inscribed.
May 01, 2020 rated it liked it
It's too dense for me to read in one go, so I thought I will use it as a reference for particular philosophers I am engaging with at the time. But then I found that, when reading Kant and Hume and Berkeley for example, that there are better lecture series and books on any particular time period or topic than what I find in here.

In the end I never came back to this book. I can see the value it has for what it tries to do, and maybe someone finds it worth their time to read this thing in one go/ o
Pastor Matt
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oddly structured and long but worth the time. Kenny often lapses into unnecessary tangents and largely runs through the lives of philosophers to get to sections grouping their metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, etc. takes getting used to but I still am indebted to the author for a the wealth of information.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit hard and sometimes a little too academic as an introduction to Western Philosophy. Also, Kenny splits the intellectual history and the philosophical themes. This is sometimes really nice, and sometimes makes the book unnecessarily hard and dry.

However, these are small complaints. A great book!
Steen Ledet
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Remarkably readable, an astonishing achievement of breadth and clarity. The modern section does leave out too many philosophers, though.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: monograph
Comprehensive. Highly readable. Up-to-date. High academic standards. Right author for the right job. What more do you need?
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
A textbook detailing the history of western philosophy by breaking it apart into digestible and accessible parts. The structure of the book was initially confusing but the patterned layout of the text makes a lot of sense when you're reading this as an introduction to the subject, because people who do philosophy don't tend to do all philosophy; the text is the history of philosophy but has in mind people with no interest in the history of philosophy who just want to see what philosophy is. The ...more
This book has been a great adventure. I recommend this book to all lovers of philosophy. I have finished slightly less than half the book in Febraury and March of 2020.

This is an indispensable companion to philosophic thought and ideas; from the start of the book Anthony Kenny proves that both The History of Philosophy, and The Philosophy of History are disciplines that are appropriately within the realm of philosophy; that they both exists as branches of philosophy. The book ends majestically,
Christopher Lancaster
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Quite comprehensive. Engaging when you are familiar with the Philosophers treated and/or the particular focus and even when you aren't it is explained lucidly.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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Sir Anthony Kenny is an English philosopher whose interests lie in the philosophy of mind, ancient and scholastic philosophy, the philosophy of Wittgenstein, and the philosophy of religion.

Other books in the series

New History of Western Philosophy (4 books)
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Medieval Philosophy (New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 2)
  • The Rise of Modern Philosophy (New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3)
  • Philosophy in the Modern World (New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 4)

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