A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

A History of Western Philosophy

Since its first publication in 1945 Lord Russell's A History of Western Philosophy has been universally acclaimed as the outstanding one-volume work on the subject—unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace and wit. In seventy-six chapters he traces philosophy from the rise of Greek civilization to the emergence of logical analysis in the twentieth century. Among the philosophers considered are: Pythagoras, Her...


Details A History of Western Philosophy

TitleA History of Western Philosophy
ISBN9780671201586
Author
Release DateJan 30th, 1986
PublisherSimon & Schuster
LanguageEnglish
GenrePhilosophy, History, Nonfiction, Classics, Reference
Rating

Reviews A History of Western Philosophy

  • Manny
    2010-11-23
    There's a throwaway remark in this book which has haunted me ever since I read it some time in the mid-70s. Russell is talking about Socrates, and he wonders if Socrates actually existed. Maybe Plato made him up."I don't think many people would have been able to make up Socrates," muses Russell. "But Plato could have done it."It's hard not to continue this line of reasoning. If Socrates turns out to be fictional, who else is? And which fictional ...
  • Riku Sayuj
    2015-03-05
    A Critical (& Patronizing) Survey of Western PhilosophyRussell is consistently opinionated throughout his presentation and it might confuse some of the readers that he is so casual in writing off some of the major philosophers and their key ideas. This is because the book is not a mere history of philosophy, a mere account of ideas, by any stretch. Instead it is a critical survey, a long catalogue of what Russell agrees and disagrees with among a...
  • Mark Lawrence
    2012-01-05
    I stole this off my father's shelves many years ago. The indications on the inside cover was that he read it in Finland in 1959 - I think he once missed a train there and the next one wasn't for a week.It's true that this is in many respects a heavy, dry, and testing read. On the other hand it's full of interesting anecdotes about the philosophers themselves, from the earliest of ancient Greeks to Russell's contemporaries in the 20th century. And...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2012-04-08
    A History of Western Philosophy And Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, Bertrand RussellA History of Western Philosophy is a 1945 book by philosopher Bertrand Russell. A survey of Western philosophy from the pre-Socratic philosophers to the early 20th century, it was criticised for Russell's over-generalization and omissions, particularly from the post-Cartesian period, but neverthele...
  • Trevor
    2009-07-02
    This is a remarkable book. Over the years I have found various reasons to look into it now and again, but have never read the whole thing. Mostly I’ve read the bits about particular philosophers: Heraclitus, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Marx for example. I hadn’t realised that ‘dipping’ in this way was missing much of the point of the book. This is not just a history of Western Philosophy, but also a bit of a ‘how do all of the main scho...
  • Roy Lotz
    2013-07-13
    I enjoyed this a bit too much. The History of Western Philosophy is exactly my kind of book, and so this review will be biased.This, however, illustrates my first point. One’s opinion of this work will largely depend on one’s opinion of Russell. This is because he frequently injects his views, ideas, and opinions into the text. I happen to love the guy; I’m sure reactions will differ.In this history, Russell does not entirely succeed in his...
  • Foad
    2014-09-28
    کتاب رو با ترجمه ی نجف دریابندری خوندم. ترجمه خیلی خوب بود، هر چند گاهی جملات قابل فهم نبود، که نمیدونم مشکل از قصور فهم من بود یا از ترجمه.تاریخ انتقادی فلسفهاسم درست این کتاب، "تاریخ انتقادی فلسفه" است، نه "تاریخ فلسفه". هر فصل از کتاب، تقسیم شده به د...
  • Hussam Elkhatib
    2017-05-13
    Enjoyed the comprehensive eye-opening knowledge. Highly recommended.
  • Bram
    2009-12-15
    Not only is this an excellent primer on all the major Western philosophers and an impressive synthesis of the evolution of philosophic thought over a 2500-year span, it's also one of the wittier books I've ever read. I'd be quite interested to hear Bertrand Russell's thoughts on the past 65 years; I did stumble upon his remarkable final statement, written two days before his death at age 97, which shows him putting his formidable powers of ration...
  • Dylan Popowicz
    2011-08-06
    At first it seems impressive that a single individual could accumulate such a vast understanding of Werstern Philosophy from Thales to Dewey. At first it seems that the work is well researched, objective, and only humorously judgemental at times. . . And for the first five-hundred pages these feelings seem to preside. Yet, when Russell reaches what, to me, is the important period of Philosophy, namely the modern period from the Rennaisance till t...
  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2016-10-22
    Bertrand Russel rocks the entire history of Western Philosophy like a boss! Long but, oh so worth it!
  • Aleksandar Janjic
    2017-03-12
    Пуни наслов ове књиге гласи "Историја западне филозофије и њена повезаност са политичким и друштвеним условима од најранијег доба до данас", што већ само по себи прилично расвјетљава шта је то Расел овде покушао да уради. Мало детаљније може да се...
  • David Huff
    2018-08-18
    This 895-pager (including the index), could alternatively have been titled, just as fittingly, and perhaps even more accurately, "Bertrand Russell's Opinions of Western Philosophers". And, though you now have my opinion as well, don't let that deter you from approaching this well-written work.His broad overview of Western philosophy was published in 1945, toward the end of World War II, and includes brief to medium length chapters on many major p...
  • Stian
    2013-07-08
    A very subjective history of philosophy. Russell makes it very clear what he thinks of every philosopher mentioned and it's not very hard to see who he likes and who he dislikes. The first part of the book on Ancient Philosophy I thought was excellent and very fascinating. The variety of thought and ideas here was really incredible and made for very easy and interesting reading throughout. In fact, once I had finished Russell's examination of Pla...
  • Paul
    2008-01-14
    Russell's History of Philosophy is a good little introduction to a massive field. His biases will be a problem for those who are aligned with the ones he critiques. This is because he frequently lets his biases cloud his thinking. For example, he writes,"So little is known of him [Leucippus] that Epicurus (a later follower of Democritus) was thought to have denied his existence all together, and some moderns have revived this theory. There are, h...
  • Roberto Rigolin F Lopes
    2018-07-21
    We are in 1946, Russell is building the chain of ideas that have been pushing civilization to the current state. His erudition is profound but he is biased while selecting thinkers and ideas. And that's what makes this book so good. As a historian, he is using at least three hats as: mathematician, English citizen and philosopher himself. The former is by far the most entertaining and edifying. For example, the mathematician starts boldly picking...
  • Mr.
    2008-10-07
    This is of course an analytic philosopher's history of western philosophy, which means that Russell presupposes that there is a single rational goal which all philosophers are seeking to reach through collective progress. Unfortunately, philosophy is not mathematics, nor is it science. Russell's account is sometimes troubling, sometimes funny, as he methodically points out every logical error in the Ancient Greeks, the rationalists, the empiricis...
  • Amir The Fat Bookworm
    2017-08-06
    There are three points I want to make:1.The author has a very fantastic style of writing. It uses the classic way of writing non-fiction. When you read it, you won't feel you are reading a textbook, because you can know what the author is thinking and that he is sharing his thoughts with you. not just mentioning them when he is talking to himself. 2. The author uses a critical and analytical method of representing the ideas he is going to make. I...
  • Ahmad Abdul Rahim
    2015-06-12
    Lewat buku ‘History of Western Philosophy’ ini, Bertrand Russel berjaya ‘mencari gaduh’ dengan semua pengikut-pengikut mana-mana mazhab falsafah. Aku merujuk di sini kepada gaya Russell mendekati subjek-subjek kajian beliau; Russell akan bermula dengan bercerita tentang biografi ringkas faylasuf tersebut, diikuti dengan latar zaman, karya-karya definitif faylasuf tersebut, garis-garis besar pemikiran beliau, diikuti dengan kritikan Russel...
  • Adam
    2007-12-23
    Ray Monk"A History of Western Philosophy remains unchallenged as the perfect introduction to its subject. Russell...writes with the kind of verve, freshness and personal engagement that lesser spirits would never have permitted themselves. This boldness, together with the astonishing breadth of his general historical knowledge, allows him to put philosophers into their social and cultural context... The result is exactly the kind of philosophy th...
  • Cassandra Kay Silva
    2015-04-12
    I much preferred "The Dream of Reason" as a philosophical overview to this one. To be honest they are both subjective and fairly biased views of historical philosophy but I just prefer Gotliebs bias more! I don't know what that says about me, perhaps I should be looking for something more objective but I don't know if I want objective anyway. Russell focuses a bit too much on the matching up of philosophers to their works and not as much as he sa...
  • Jared Colley
    2007-05-15
    This book is invaluable to me. I first read it as a high schooler & young college student, and I have never stopped reading it since. This has served as a resource/reference for countless various reasons. Mr. Russell offers a pretty comprehensive account of Western, intellectual history here, but he also provides erudite commentary on almost all major philosophers & philosophies of the Western tradition. The only reason I give this 4 and not 5 st...
  • Animesh
    2007-05-24
    This is the mother of all books!This tome was apparently dictated by Bertrand Russell to his secretary during his lecture trips in America as he traveled by train across the country in the 1920s.It is witty, provocative, profound, and informative all at the same time.If you want to know what genius is, then read this book. It is the encapsulation of the entire philosophical thoughts of the western world, written (well, dictated) in the most engag...
  • Nahed.E
    2014-11-26
    تاريخ الفلسفة الغربية لبرتراند راسل ، بأجزائه الثلاثة ، الفلسفة اليونانية ، وفلسفة العصور الوسطي، والفلسفة الحديثةمن أهم الكتب لدارسي الفلسفة ، ويمكن القول إنه لا غني عنها ، فانت هنا تعرف تاريخ الفسلفة بقلم فيلسوفوالذي يشرح لك الفلسفة فيلسوفوال...
  • Tariq Fadel
    2018-01-16
    I found this a very well written book on the history of philosophy. It presented most of the major western philosophers in chronological order starting from the ancient greek. It focused most on political theory and the influence of politics and society on the philosophers view as well as the social impact of the philosophers on their communities. I especially enjoyed the part on the ancient greeks and found it very informative and to a certain s...
  • Spyros Passas
    2017-02-12
    This is THE absolute reference book for Western Philosophy. Starting from the Pro-Socratic times and ending at the dawn of the 20th century, Russel goes through all the major philosophical movements of the West. The thought of most major philosophers is being beautifully laid down and analysed by one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. Despite being very dense, the book is wonderfully readable, so if you have any interest in the matter thi...
  • Karl-O
    2011-10-08
    There is no doubt that Russell ignores some important elements in the history of western thought in his History of Western Philosophy. I am not as much annoyed as some who consider this book worthless for that matter. I may be biased toward him and the importance he gives to the scientific method in considering the various schools of philosophy. He obviously aims at a philosophy based on the scientific knowledge acquired at his time. However, I s...
  • Sophia_yang
    2014-09-08
    This book is really a fantasitic work! I really like the cover. A broad way to the western philosophy! I bought this book last week, and fell in love with it suddenly. I have read it many times already. The book is divided by three parts, ancient philosophy, catholic philosophy, and modern philosophy. I love 'the schoolmen' best. By the way, the table of contents is very nice, too. Many histories of philosophy exist, and it has not been my purpos...
  • Roderick Vincent
    2015-11-05
    A great introduction to all of the heavy weight philosophers. The last chapter summed up well why Russell had the habit of crushing each of the philosophers in turn throughout the book. Certainly some spankings were in order. Russell had a great mind, and this book had an interesting historical accompaniment along with each summary. (Spoiler) He was not a fan of Nietzsche.