Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A New History of Western Philosophy” as Want to Read:
A New History of Western Philosophy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A New History of Western Philosophy

(New History of Western Philosophy #1-4)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  19 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  235 ratings  ·  19 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Often I find myself grappling with an idea that seems at first to be beyond my grasp but then when I take a step back and start from the beginning and follow its development and history step by step I begin to understand it more and more clearly. The problem with philosophy is that to fully grasp a philosophical concept you will also have to know the history that gave rise to it otherwise you'd be lost in a sea of complex jargon and technicalities. Which is why I think having a solid philosophic ...more
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Daan Pieter
rated it liked it
Jun 03, 2013
Ananta Garg
rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2017
Lothar Spillemaeckers
rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2019
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2015
Brad N
rated it really liked it
Oct 03, 2017
Andrew Watkins
rated it really liked it
May 09, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2017
Jonathon Liu
rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2017
Dasari Pedaraju
rated it did not like it
Oct 15, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jan 26, 2018
Ghailan Abukaram
rated it it was amazing
Jun 07, 2014
Justin Wishart
rated it liked it
Nov 17, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy
  • The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
  • The Quest for a Moral Compass
  • The Story of Philosophy
  • The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy
  • Classics of Western Philosophy
  • Epistemology: An Anthology
  • A History of Western Philosophy and Theology
  • The Big Questions: Philosophy
  • The Portable Enlightenment Reader
  • Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
  • Logic: A Very Short Introduction
  • Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions
  • Ancient Worlds: The Search for the Origins of Western Civilization
  • Friendship
  • Samurai Wisdom: Lessons from Japan's Warrior Culture - Five Classic Texts on Bushido
  • The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy
  • History of Philosophy
See similar books…
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
  • The Rise of Modern Philosophy
  • Philosophy in the Modern World
“virtue is indeed teachable,” 1 likes
“In exile in Lampsacus, Anaxagoras made his final benefaction to humanity: the invention of the school holiday.” 1 likes
More quotes…