Sub-Genre: History & Surveys
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Book theme: Ancient & Classical
Item Number (DPCI): 248-16-4259
Philosophy is a subject with a long history and a short memory. In this landmark new study of Western thought, Anthony Gottlieb looks afresh at the writings of the great thinkers, questions many pieces of conventional wisdom and explains his findings with unbridled brilliance and clarity. From the pre-Socratic philosophers such as Empedocles, whose account of the cosmos seems "a mixture of the physics of Stephen Hawking and the romantic novels of Barbara Cartland," through the celebrated days of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, up to Renaissance visionaries like Erasmus and Bacon, "philosophy" emerges here as a phenomenon unconfined by any one discipline. Indeed, as Gottlieb explains, its most revolutionary breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences have repeatedly been co-opted by other branches of knowledge, leading to the illusion that philosophers never make any progress.