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Title : Geschiedenis der Westerse Filosofie : in samenhang met politieke en sociale omstandigheden van de oudste tijden tot heden
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ISBN : 9789063250706
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 774 Pages
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Geschiedenis der Westerse Filosofie : in samenhang met politieke en sociale omstandigheden van de oudste tijden tot heden Reviews

  • Manny
    2019-04-30 21:07

    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 characters of today will later be accepted as historical persons? The more you think about it, the more you start feeling that the world really is a Philip K. Dick novel.

  • Riku Sayuj
    2019-04-20 03:10

    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 all the major doctrines. The format followed is: a brief historical sketch to give context to a doctrine, an even briefer explanation, and then a long critical take that will put forward Russell’s opinions, usually about why it is misguided in the light of modern scientific approach. And more often than not, he is wary of those ideas which, from the point of view of his war-torn present, seemed 'dangerous.' In fact, I think that three strands of vexation can be discerned:1. Leading to orthodoxy in religion2. Leading to rigidity in logic3. Leading to Totalitarian fantasiesAny idea which Russell felt was tending towards these were roundly attacked and put in place. Must have felt like a humanitarian act, writing this book! After all, the long stretch of time that allowed Russell to undertake the tome was granted him by a stay in prison — his crime was distributing pacifist literature during the First World War. Hitler caused him to later renounce his pacifism, to the point that he wished he were younger so that he might don a uniform himself.If you were to attempt a history of philosophy, you can write a history without imposing on the reader what your own opinions are. Or you can write a history just to let the reader know exactly what you (as a thinker of some standing yourself, you might add!) think of each philosopher. Or you can write a history and try to justify why you prefer some, even one, more than the others. Russell has opted to for a mix of the last two options — and he prefers himself over all others, that’s all!As the book progresses it becomes more and more clear that it is a summary of Russell’s views, and not of the philosophers being discussed. This means that most of them gets short shrift. And as we approach modern times it is amusing to see how Russell is almost impatient for the history to quickly reach and culminate in his own position of Logical Positivism, which he clearly thinks is the best approach to philosophy and in the light of which he judges everyone else. This allows him to narrate the entire historical progress in a patronizing and all-knowing tone that might be jarring to a reader who is not willing to take the same attitude towards Russell’s own naivete! You have to out-patronize the patronizing author to enjoy this fully. That is the trick. And if you do, there is no end of fun to be had form this eminently readable epic.

  • Mark Lawrence
    2019-05-03 22:21

    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 Russell, a mathematician of the highest order as well as a starred philosopher is a clear and concise writer, careful to present each person's work in the context of its time, and showing how to some extent such philosophy shaped and refined the period it came from. Moreover the author's wit shows through on most pages and he has a definite way with words.Just as we have authors today writing to make the most esoteric physics accessible to the layman through intelligent precis and analogy, Russell appears to have been a populist of his time. This is very definitely an introduction, a guide, a setting of the development of philosophy through a string of individuals and schools, rather than a thorough examination of any particular one of them. It is likely one of the most accessible of serious works on philosophy, but given the era that produced it (1940s) and the elevation of its author, it will place demands on the reader.It ends (if I remember correctly) with a summary of his own work in Principia Mathematica and a fascinating account of how Godel undermined Russell's masterwork twenty years later.Very well worth reading. Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes..

  • Trevor
    2019-04-29 00:23

    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 schools of Western Philosophy fit into their culture and times'. So, much time is spent giving thumb-nail sketches of the history of certain periods in a way that will help the student of philosophy understand where philosophers were coming from when they said such bizarre things as: nothing changes, everything changes, everything is fire, everything is water, matter does not exist, mind does not exist, and so on.He makes some truly fascinating points in this book – not least that there is no philosophy that is wholly logically consistent and that sometimes the danger is when a philosopher seeks to remain logically consistent rather than acknowledge the horrendous conclusions that the logical consistency of his ideas forces him toward. I use the male pronoun not simply because Russell also uses it throughout, but because all of the philosophers discussed sport a Y-chromosome. The book is divided into three parts: Ancient Philosophy, Catholic Philosophy and Modern Philosophy. It was written during the Second World War and I think this shows in part, particularly when Russell is discussing the merits of some philosophers – not least Nietzsche and Marx. I had thought that I would find the middle section on Catholics the least interesting – I believe that we ‘moderns’ feel we have much more in common with Ancients than we do with the Catholic scholastics of the dark and middle ages – but Russell is very kind to these philosophers, although in the main I found them to be little more than pedants adding Christian footnotes to Plato and Aristotle. Perhaps, in another life, I will have time to read one or two of them and see if my attitude changes.This is not a book that requires either an extensive knowledge of philosophy, nor an extensive knowledge of history to be understood. Russell is a remarkably clear writer (something that for a philosopher really is worth commenting on and something that deserves the highest praise). He also is occasionally quite amusing. Now, I know that people who follow either Marx, Kant, Hegel, Dewey, Nietzsche or even Aristotle might find quite a few things to say in disagreement with Mr Russell, but that in no way takes away from the value of this book. I’ve listened to a Teaching Company ‘Great Ideas In Philosophy’ course which covered all of the philosophers discussed here, and I think Russell does at least as good a job as was done there. Invaluable is a word that is grossly overused on this site – particularly by me – but I do think this book gives an invaluable helicopter view of the history of Western Philosophy that is both accessible and often profound. I once received my lowest mark in my degree for saying pretty much what Russell says here about his mate Dewey - I am rather proud of the fact that I've only discovered our shared view now - twenty years later. I’ve always found Instrumentalism (otherwise known as Pragmatism) a thoroughly unsatisfactory philosophical standpoint, despite both James and Dewey seeming to be nice enough people in themselves. My main problem with the total rejection of the possibility of any sense that there might be ‘truth’ (which Russell, as might be expected, confines to logical statements) has always had a bit of a smell about it. When I said this in a class paper at Uni I was nearly lynched by both the lecturer (a declared Instrumentalist) and the other students (who knew better than I which side their bread was buttered). I think Russell’s arguments in this section are similar to the ones I tried to make, but are made in a way that is infinitely clearer than I was capable of at the time - a time when I was keen to seem very 'philosophic' ie, totally unclear. Essentially, I've always thought that to move away from discussing the ‘truth’ of statements and to instead consider their ‘efficacy’ is a slippery slope and one that can all too easily bring us to splash down into logical and moral difficulties.His discussion of Bergson’s philosophy was enough to ensure I will never read anything by Bergson. I find irrationalism dull and, what is even worse, mind-numbingly ‘poetic’ in the very worst sense of that word. Sometimes one needs to be obscure because what you are trying to say does not allow you to be immediately clear. However, as Russell displays so beautifully in this book, that is rarely really necessary and the onus is on the writer to make it clear why being turgid or obscure to the point of impenetrability is in either the interests of the reader or the writer.What is best about this book is that it has inspired me to read some more Plato (I started his complete dialogues some time ago, but things got in the way.) Russell's discussion of Socrates and his relationship to Plato is worth reading the book on its own. Plato is a fascinating character, not least because it seems a case can be made that he became increasingly less convinced of his theory of forms as his dialogues went on. Given that this is the core of his system, this would seem somewhat of a problem.The book ends by saying that a consistent philosophy that takes into consideration Quantum Theory is still to be written - as little as I know of modern philosophy, I would imagine the intervening 60 years have done little to correct this want. Quantum Theory still remains an enigma and all too often leaves the door wide open for all types of very silly ideas.This is a book that repays the effort of reading it – it is not a short introduction by any means (being over 800 pages), but it is only a difficult read when he discusses philosophers like Hegel and Bergson who are notoriously difficult anyway. For what this book sets out to do – pretty much, give the average reader an overview of Western Philosophical thought and its place within Western Culture and History, it does a remarkable job. Although I still think it is very handy as a ready reference on a great many philosophers – it is much better, as I've found, to have read it all first.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-05-17 20:01

    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 nevertheless became a popular and commercial success, and has remained in print from its first publication. When Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, A History of Western Philosophy was cited as one of the books that won him the award. Its success provided Russell with financial security for the last part of his life.Content: Ancient Philosophy; Catholic Philosophy; and Modern Philosophy.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: چهارم ماه آوریل سال 1978 میلادیعنوان: تاریخ فلسفه غرب و روابط آن با اوضاع سیاسی و اجتماعی از قدیم تا امروز؛ نویسنده: برتراند راسل؛ مترجم: نجف دریابندری؛ تهران، سخن، 1340؛ در سه جلد: جلد نخست: فلسفه قدیم؛ جلد دوم: فلسفه قرون وسطی؛ جلد سوم: فلسفه جدید؛ چاپ دیگر: تبریز، بهمن، 1345؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، بیست و پنج شهریور، 1348؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، پرواز؛ 1351؛ در دو جلد، ؛ 1365؛ چاپ ششم 1373؛ شرح نقادانه «تاریخ فلسفه» در غرب، از هزاره ی نخست پیش از میلاد مسیح، تا اواسط قرن بیستم میلادی. «نجف دریابندری» در مقدمه‌ ی خود بر کتاب می‌نویسد: «احساس خواننده‌ ی تاریخ «راسل»، همانند احساس جوان کنجکاوی ست، که همراه پدر ستیهنده و زبان‌ آور خود به دیدار بزرگان تاریخ تفکر میرود، و به گفت و گوی پرحرارت پدر با آنها گوش می‌دهد؛ و بسیار چیزها - چه از باب معلومات فلسفی و چه از باب شیوه‌ های جدل - می‌آموزد.». تاریخ فلسفه‌ ی غرب، بازنویس سلسله درس‌ هایی ست که «راسل» از 1940 میلادی تا سال 1943 میلادی در آمریکا داده بود که در تابستان سال 1944 میلادی و در انگلستان، برای انتشار آماده شد. ا. شربیانی

  • Roy Lotz
    2019-05-18 22:01

    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 stated goal. What he was trying to do was to firmly situate major thinkers in their historical and cultural context, and then explore the ways that history both shapes and is shaped by these thinkers. This is more successful in the first two thirds, but drops off rather steeply in the section on modern philosophy. Following this plan, the book is divided into chapters on history and chapters on philosophers.Russell is an excellent writer. Even his fiercest critics grant him this merit. He has a knack for presenting abstract ideas with penetrating clarity. On top of this, he has a delightfully dry sense of humor, which he employs to great effect in breaking up turgid analysis. In general, Russell is at his strongest when presenting the philosophy itself; he is at his weakest when writing history. His ability to generalize is the cause of both qualities.As I mentioned above, Russell frequently injects his own views into the book. It should be noted, though, that he is crystal-clear when he is doing so. The reader is never confused as to whether it is Russell’s idea or that of the philosopher under discussion. The bulk of these additions are Russell’s opinions on philosophical problems and the success of their attempted solutions. Because Russell himself is one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century, these discussions are some of the most fascinating parts of the work. I would go so far to say—and I am in no position to say this—that no other book can give the student a greater insight into Russell’s thinking. He takes the opportunity to address nearly every aspect of philosophy: ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, political philosophy, etc.Russell, like everybody, has biases. He is particularly antagonistic to Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Rousseau. Nevertheless, I found his discussions of their ideas to be quite fair. The Nietzsche chapter even ends with a fictional conversation between Nietzsche, Buddha, and God. The only philosopher who I thought was manhandled was Plato, who Russell treats as he would "any contemporary advocate of totalitarianism." He doesn’t add that Plato almost singlehandedly created political philosophy.The reader of this book must be conscious of when it was written—at the height of WWII. Keeping this in mind, many of the motivations for Russell’s views become much more sensible. In the background of the text, running through every page, is his grappling with the questions: “what is the future for civilization? How did Hitler come to wield so much power?” Russell comes to the conclusion that the Nazis represent the culmination of a strain of anti-intellectualism and romanticism inaugurated by Rousseau and carried forward by Nietzsche, with roots extending all the way back to Plato. I disagree with this analysis. However, in my opinion, when seen in this light, almost all of the flaws in this work vanish. In fact, it would have been despicable to not have been concerned with these issues.Russell believed that educating the population in science, skepticism, and rational thinking were the keys to preventing further atrocities and making the world a better place. This book, written for a popular audience, is a part of that effort. The world could use more people like Bertrand Russell.[Note: Something I forgot to mention. This book may not be so great an introduction to philosophy for beginners. Russell is opinionated, so you are likely to get a skewed picture of a philosopher's outlook and relevance if you're first exposed to him through Russell. Additionally, because Russell is an imposing thinker himself, this book is not philosophy-lite. A History of Western Philosophy is far more enjoyable once you have actually read the thinkers yourself. This makes the experience of reading Russell's opinions like having an intelligent conversation with a fellow-reader. Russell is not an expert on many of the subjects he is writing about here, so it is quite legitimate to disagree with him. In fact, that's part of the value of this book.]

  • Foad
    2019-05-14 22:16

    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 دو قسمت: قسمت کوتاه (و گاه نارسای) نخست، به معرفی اجمالی بخشی (و نه تمام) از فلسفه ی فیلسوف خاص میپردازه. قسمت بلند و مفصل دوم، به انتقاد از فلسفه ش. هر چند خیلی این انتقادها دقیق و لذت بخش بودن، (مخصوصاً با نثرِ گاه طنز آمیز کتاب که نمی دونم کار راسل بوده، یا نجف دریابندری) اما نکته ی مهم، اینه که کسی که تازه میخواد با نظریات یه فیلسوف آشنا بشه، میخواد بیشتر حرف های اون فیلسوف رو هضم کنه و بفهمه و حالا فعلاً دنبال صحیح و سقیم بودنش نیست. کتاب از این جهت ضعیف کار کرده. در نتیجه به عنوان اولین کتاب فلسفه، پیشنهاد نمیشه. من نصف کتاب رو اول خوندم، بعد رفتم دو کتاب دیگه در تاریخ فلسفه غرب خوندم که آشنا بشم، و دوباره برگشتم سر این کتاب.نکات پراکندهراسل کار جالبی میکنه و در همه ی نظریات، سعی میکنه پسزمینه ی اجتماعی اون نظریه رو هم مد نظر داشته باشه. خیلی جاها نشون میده که این نظریه، مولود فلان شرایط اجتماعی بوده. این کار تطبیقی تاریخ فلسفه و تاریخ سیاسی-اجتماعی، خیلی جالب بود.گاهی هم یه نکاتی از نظریات فیلسوف میگه، که هیچ جای دیگه پیداش نخواهید کرد، چون اصلاً در نظریات اون فیلسوف نیست. بلکه استنباط راسل از نظریات اون فرده و میگه: اگه فیلسوف الف رو قبول داشته، پس ب رو هم قبول داشته.این نکات هم خیلی خیلی جالبن.

  • Ian
    2019-05-13 23:21

    OverviewBertrand Russell's History consists of 76 Chapters, almost all under 20 pages.Each Chapter contains a summary of one major philosopher's key arguments interlaced with criticism that reflects Russell's own priorities and perspectives. In a sense, it is one philosopher judging the work of another.We therefore need to exercise caution in relying on Russell's methodology, perspectives and conclusions.Apart from this reservation, I actually really enjoy his style. He is very clear and seems to be quite worldly and amusing. I get the impression I might have enjoyed sitting next to him at a dinner party.My Reading ProjectAs part of a broader reading project, I will read and review some individual Chapters in My Writings.I will post links to My Writings below.Immanuel Kanthttp://www.goodreads.com/story/show/3...It's worth noting that he gives Kant more space than Hegel and almost twice as much space as Marx.

  • Bram
    2019-05-08 22:00

    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 rationality to work in succinctly and accurately assessing the nature of the Middle East conflict. Sadly, little has changed in the 40 years since the writing of this statement, as Israel continues to expand into Palestinian territory, to deny the rights of refugees, and "to discover how much more aggression the world will tolerate" (empirical answer: quite a lot):"The development of the crisis in the Middle East is both dangerous and instructive. For over 20 years Israel has expanded by force of arms. After every stage in this expansion Israel has appealed to “reason” and has suggested “negotiations”. This is the traditional role of the imperial power, because it wishes to consolidate with the least difficulty what it has already taken by violence. Every new conquest becomes the new basis of the proposed negotiation from strength, which ignores the injustice of the previous aggression. The aggression committed by Israel must be condemned, not only because no state has the right to annex foreign territory, but because every expansion is an experiment to discover how much more aggression the world will tolerate.The refugees who surround Palestine in their hundreds of thousands were described recently by the Washington journalist I.F. Stone as “the moral millstone around the neck of world Jewry.” Many of the refugees are now well into the third decade of their precarious existence in temporary settlements. The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was “given” by a foreign Power to another people for the creation of a new State. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their number have increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate? A permanent just settlement of the refugees in their homeland is an essential ingredient of any genuine settlement in the Middle East.We are frequently told that we must sympathize with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. I see in this suggestion no reason to perpetuate any suffering. What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy. Not only does Israel condemn a vast number of refugees to misery; not only are many Arabs under occupation condemned to military rule; but also Israel condemns the Arab nations only recently emerging from colonial status to continued impoverishment as military demands take precedence over national development.All who want to see an end to bloodshed in the Middle East must ensure that any settlement does not contain the seeds of future conflict. Justice requires that the first step towards a settlement must be an Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied in June, 1967. A new world campaign is needed to help bring justice to the long-suffering people of the Middle East."

  • Dylan Popowicz
    2019-04-21 01:19

    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 the present, I find that Russell's analysis of each philosopher begins to grow shallower, leading not to a decent caricature or snapshot of the work in question, but more to a wholly unfair criticism of all those Russell finds himself at odds with.Strangely enough, with the men of history that he finds himself in agreement with, he expresses a humility in regards to their work, clearly laying out his interpretation even though he dares not say that he truly understands m as fully as intended . . . this same humitlty, when faced with Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Kant, Hegel etc. is turned into a ridiculous (and hypocritical) demolition of their works on a shallow basis. It remains unclear whether Russell in-fact understands the depths of his opponent's work, although it doesn't matter to him.Sadly, even to an amateur as myself, his criticisms seem to miss the point entirely. In what I assume to be an attempt at avoiding obscurantism and reaching a simplicity for the layman, it seems that he has relegated subtlety for the blockish ideas of solid forms. No philosophy stands fairly against such disregard for language, intepretation etc.Overall the work may act as a decent introduction to philosophy as a whole, but I personally feel you would be better off delving into the faster read and likely more honest books out there . . . Philosophy for Dummies, Introducing Philosophy etc. I'm sure this book would be much to the liking of anyone with the same mindset as Russel himself, but have to say that objectivity is here greatly tarnished by shallow thought, misunderstanding, stupidity (yes), and an obsession with modern-day values and prejuidices with no apparent explanation for his own ethical standpoint.

  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2019-05-14 20:08

    Bertrand Russel rocks the entire history of Western Philosophy like a boss! Long but, oh so worth it!

  • Paul
    2019-04-19 21:16

    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, however, a number of allusions to him in Aristotle, and it seems incredible that these (which include textual quotations) would have occurred if he had been merely a myth." -Bertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy, 1972, p.64But has made claims like this elsewhere,"Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about him, so that I am not concerned with the historical question, which is a very difficult one." -Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not A Christian."The Gospels were written far closer to the life of Jesus than Aristotle was to the time of Leucippus. I could multiply the above with ease - given that the book is over 800 pages. I just chose the one I did since I am a Christian, and his biases stood out especially in his criticisms of Christianity. Most of his critiques against many of the arguments for God's existence would, if you're familiar with the contemporary scene, be whittled away in a matter of minutes. Another person I could defend, and show some obvious blunders by Russell, is Aristotle. But that would take us too far off scope. I should add that he does give a good presentation of Leibniz, though. Of course, the philosophy of Leibniz was his specialty.Russell states that he purposes to give more of a history than an analysis of the philosophers he discusses. For the most part this is fair, be Russell does seem to read his own views back into the history he is discussing quite a bit. Russell also writes very well. Reading the book is smooth, and his work is available to the layman. I should add that there is something good about the bias. As I said above, it's not that he has biases that is bad, it's that they affect his work and take away some credibility. But where it is useful to have his bias is that you can get a glimpse into the mind of atheistic thinking. This allows one, especially a religious defender, to better understand and anticipate atheistic thought - even if said thought is outdated. There’s nothing new under the sun.Russell is a realist about universals, and that's a good thing. :-) He also has some arguments and statements to the effect that immaterial entities exist. Thus this book also serves as fodder to pit atheists against themselves. I'm not a raving Russellian, and so I have the book a respectable three stars. There are better, and far more detailed, history of philosophy series out there (e.g., Routledge's).

  • Stian
    2019-04-22 19:55

    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 Plato I decided to read three of Plato's dialogues, all of which I enjoyed. This book starts with Thales and moves all the way to Plotinus, before it continues into the second book, which is on Catholic Philosophy. The second book isn't nearly as riveting as the first. A lot of this I found to be rather tedious and not as fun to read as the book before it. However, I was inspired to read St. Augustine's Confessions, and I also bought a collection of writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Although tedious, it definitely had a lot of interesting things to say. The third and last part is on Modern Philosophy, dealing with the renaissance and up. This was, much like the first book, really fascinating and was relatively interesting to read. There was only one thing that really bugged me in this book and that was the omission of Kierkegaard. One would think that a history of philosophy would at least contain a mention of him, but alas! This book, like the others, also inspired me to dig a little further and I've acquired Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, Spinoza's Ethics, and finally Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. All in all a very fascinating read which flows along nicely, spiced with Russell's wit and opinions. Definitely a book I enjoyed but hardly more than three stars. As a short introduction to every philosopher this certainly does the job.

  • Mr.
    2019-05-07 01:59

    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 empiricists, etc. The notion of progress as it pertains to philosophy is always problematic. Granted, Russell examines each thinker in their socio-historical perspective, but he fails to give credit to the work and creativity of the thinkers as ends in themselves, not particles of a universal human project. This is not to say that a history of Western philosophy should be all adulation, but it should never be exclusive. Russell is quick to dismiss all religious thinkers as absurd (which isn't that far off the mark), but also treats Nietzsche with supreme cruelty as Nietzsche was a thinker that broke from the Enlightenment tradition and refused to play with numbers. Similarly, Heidegger is a glaringly absent in Russell's account, as he refused to admit that there was any seriousness to Heidegger's thought. This sentiment is more a reflection of philosophy's break between the analytic and the continental modes of thought than it is an honest criticism. This book does have valuable information and it does represent fairly competent historical research. But it should be read always be read as Bertrand Russell's history of Western philosophy, not THE history of Western philosophy

  • Ahmad Abdul Rahim
    2019-05-11 22:53

    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 Russell terhadap faylasuf tersebut. Kaedah diskursif sebegini bertepatan dengan projek falsafah Russell di mana beliau berpendapat bahawa falsafah perlu bergerak berdasarkan ‘analisis’ dan bukannya ‘sintesis’. Mungkin kerana itu buku ini tidak begitu digemari bagi mereka yang mengharapkan sebuah buku sejarah falsafah Barat diceritakan secara neutral atau matter-of-fact (aku tak boleh bayang betapa boringnya buku itu kalau ia wujud). Sedikit latar belakang tentang Russell. Beliau datang daripada keluarga aristokrat. Beliau nampaknya mendapat pendidikan yang sangat baik sejak dari kecil dan mempunyai seorang tutor peribadi. Beliau ada menceritakan bahawa buku Geometry tulisan Euclid sudahpun ditelaahnya saat beliau berumur 11 tahun. Kecenderungan Russell dari awal adalah dalam bidang matematik. Russell sepatutnya mengambil pengajian tertiari dalam bidang matematik. Tetapi beliau bertukar fikiran selepas menyertai grup diskusi ‘underground’ Apostles di Universiti Cambridge tersebut. Beliau seterusnya menukar bidang pembelajaran kepada falsafah. Namun, matematik kekal mencorakkan arah tuju projek falsafah beliau. Projek falsafah Russell yang dikenalis sebagai Logical Analysis itu ada dihuraikan idea-idea utamanya di hujung buku ini. Apa yang penting untuk diketahui adalah Russell percaya bahawa matematik dan logik hanyalah ‘two sides of a same coin’. Matematik boleh dijadikan sebagai mata air untuk ilmu Logik mengalir darinya. Russell bersama Whitehead telah menggariskan prinsip-prinsip asas dalam matematik yang boleh dijadikan sandaran kepada perkembangan ilmu logik moden dalam buku 3 jilid tulisan mereka Principia Mathematica.Seperti yang boleh diagak daripada tajuknya, buku ini menceritakan tentang sejarah falsafah Barat dan Russell bercerita tentang topik ini dengan membahagikan setiap tajuk kepada faylasuf-faylasuf tersebut. Roughly sejarah falsafah Barat dibahagikan Russell kepada tiga. Dari zaman Pre-Socratics sehingga Stoic; seterusnya Scholastic Philosophy yang bermula dengan ‘founding fathers’ kepada Catholicism; dan berakhir dengan Modern Philosophy yang bermula dengan Descartes.Pembaca mungkin berfikir yang buku ini boleh didekati dengan membacanya dengan terus lompat kepada bab yang diinginya. Secara peribadi, aku tak menggalakkan kaedah ini. Buku ini perlu dibaca dari kulit ke kulit dan mengikut susunan yang diaturkan penulis; lagipun itu adalah salah satu kelebihan bilamana sebuah buku yang merangkumi sebuah tajuk yang besar ditulis oleh seorang penulis sahaja: naratif. Buku ini tak dinafikan memang tebal, hampir 750ms tanpa sebarang footnotes yang jelas. Senarai rujukan buku atau bibliografi pun tiada. Maka pembaca memang akan mendapat sebuah buku yang menceritakan tentang sejarah falsafah Barat setebal 750ms yang ‘pure’. Tetapi buku ini tidaklah sesusah yang disangka. Memandangkan jumlah faylasuf yang dibincangkan dalam buku ini adalah ramai, aku kira jumlah ms bagi setiap faylasuf adalah dalam lingkungan 8-25ms. Faylasuf yang paling memberikan impak sememangnya mendapat layanan tambahan: Aristotle mempunyai 3 bab untuk dia seorang sahaja, John Locke dua bab. Setiap era falsafah juga didahului dengan bab pemula yang memberikan survey perkembangan ilmu falsafah ketika itu yang terdiri daripada maklumat-maklumat sejarah yang penting di Barat seperti pemerintah-pemerintah agung, ekspedisi peperangan yang mencorak sejarah Eropah, perjanjian penting, hubungan Gereja vs Negara dsb. Bagi aku sendiri manfaat terbesar buku ini kepada aku adalah di dalam memberikan gambaran dan latar zaman yang begitu jelas sewaktu era Scholastic Philosophy. Lain kali bila aku membaca mana-mana sejarahwan merujuk tokoh fulan sebagai Platonist atau Neo-Platonist atau Aristotelian atau Averroes, aku boleh faham apa yang dimaksudkannya.Bertrand Russell ini bagi aku ibarat prototaip kepada generasi New Atheist sekarang. Beliau rasionalis, logik, ateistik, dan sarkastik. Beliau juga optimistik dalam pandangan sejarah dalam erti kata beliau melihat zaman moden (sains, teknologi, logik, matematik, undang2) sebagai suatu kemuncak dan zaman-zaman sebelum hanyalah langkah-langkah ke arah mencapai ‘pinnacle’ tersebut. Tetapi mungkin aku kira latarbelakang beliau dalam ilmu falsafah sedikit sebanyak mengendurkan ego dan kepercayaan beliau kepada sains moden: suatu ciri yang tiada kenampakan wujudnya pada golongan New Atheist.

  • Adam
    2019-05-08 21:14

    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 that most people would like to read, but which only Russell could possibly have written." Book DescriptionFirst published in 1946, History of Western Philosophy went on to become the best-selling philosophy book of the twentieth century. A dazzlingly ambitious project, it remains unchallenged to this day as the ultimate introduction to Western philosophy. Providing a sophisticated overview of the ideas that have perplexed people from time immemorial, Russell's History of Western Philosophy offered a cogent précis of its subject. Of course this cannot be the only reason it ended up the best selling philosophy book of the twentieth century. Russell's book was 'long on wit, intelligence and curmudgeonly scepticism', as the New York Times noted, and it is this, coupled with the sheer brilliance of its scholarship, that has made Russell's History of Western Philosophy one of the most important philosophical works of all time.

  • Aleksandar Janjic
    2019-04-24 01:13

    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 пронађе у предговору:"У већини историја филозофије, сваки се филозоф појављује као у вакууму; његово се мишљење приказује издвојено сем, у најбољем случају, у односу на филозофе пре њега. Ја сам управо због тога покушао да, колико ми то истина допушта, представим сваког филозофа као последицу његовог миљеа, као човека у коме су се искристалисале и концентрисале мисли и осећања која су, у неодређеном и дифузном облику, била својствена заједници чији је део био."Мени се чини да је Расел у овом свом науму у потпуности успио, иако сам потпуни дудук за филозофију и књигу сам, на крају крајева, и узео да ми послужи као неки увод и да неке смјернице шта би могло да буде интересантно за даље истраживање. Прикази почињу са старим Грцима, а завршавају Раселовим савременицима. Укратко су представљене идеје сваког од поменутих филозофа и онда је Расел на њих оставио своје критичке коментаре, тако да ово није "неутрална" књига, већ спада у књиге "са ставом", што ми се јако свиђа, нарочито пошто је Расел занимљив и духовит писац. Ниједан филозоф није прошао без мањег или већег "рибања" (ако се добро сјећам, чини ми се да се најбоље провукао Спиноза), али нигдје у књизи не види се никаква злоба или нешто слично већ искључиво врло коректно изнијета мишљења аутора књиге. Наравно, кад се ствари представљају на овакав начин, увијек постоји реална могућност да се нечији аргументи случајно или намјерно изврну и представе на погрешан начин. Као што сам рекао, немам појма с филозофијом, али сигуран сам да овде то није случај. Ни у једном моменту нисам имао утисак да се аутор намерачио да неког опљуне и био је максимално коректан и објективан чак и у представљању разних хришћанских мислилаца, а мислим да су Раселови ставови о хришћанству познати (или јесу ли???). Поред тога, нисам још чуо да се неко жалио на Расела због необјективности.Сад ћу да цитирам неколико реченица које су ми се јако свидјеле и које су ме мотивисале да у ближој будућности дам шансу и другим Раселовим списима (искључујући Принципиа Матхематица, јер то не може да се чита):"За разлику од религије, техника је етички неутрална: она уверава људе да могу да чине чуда, али им не каже каква чуда да чине. У том погледу, она је непотпуна. У пракси, циљеви којима ће се посветити научна вештина углавном зависе од случаја. Људи који стоје на челу великих организација, какве она захтева, могу да је, у датим границама, окрену у правцу који им одговара. Нагон према моћи на тај начин има простор какав никада раније није имао. Филозофије које су биле надахнуте научном техником су филозофије моћи, и оне теже да све оно што није људско сматрају за обичан сиров материјал. О циљевима се више не води рачуна; цени се само вештина поступка. Ово је такође један облик лудила. У данашње време, то је најопаснији облик лудила, против кога здрава филозофија треба да нађе одговарајући противлек."Затим, посљедње реченице у поглављу о Хегелу:"Ово је била грешка, и из ове грешке настала је цела импозантна грађевина његовог система. То илуструје једну важну истину, наиме да, што је ваша логика гора, то су интересантније последице које из ње произлазе." :-)Посљедње реченице о Ничеу (сјајно поглавље, мени иначе омиљено у цијелој књизи):"Ниче презире свеопшту љубав; ја је осећам као покретачку силу за све оно што желим овом свету. Његови следбеници дочекали су свој час власти, али се можемо надати да ће се он брзо завршити." (књига је писана током другог свјетског рата, па вам је јасно на које сљедбенике мисли).Иначе, пошто сви обожавају Ничеа, свако ко каже да га не воли (а Расел је то написао) има од мене аутоматски плус.

  • Amir The Fat Bookworm
    2019-05-10 20:04

    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 believe it is a great demonstration of the early analytical philosophy. I love this school of thoughts and I learned more than I could have ever hoped for from this work. 3. This book should not be used by a novice reader of philosophy. If that is the case for you, I strongly suggest that you first read another history of philosophy, and then compliment that by this book. Russell's history of philosophy is more of an "Actually guys... it isn't like that" sort of history. So you should know at least some history of philosophy to know what he is talking about.

  • Jared Colley
    2019-04-29 03:57

    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 stars is Mr. Russell's glaring ommission of Kierkegaard. I guess one could also complain about his treatment of late 19th century continental philosophy - but this could be the result of a lack of historical distance, considering Russell published this work no later than the 1940s. At any rate, this book is worth purchasing as it serves as a very useful reference.

  • Nahed.E
    2019-05-08 00:08

    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 فيلسوفوالذي يؤرخ وينقد ويحاورك فيلسوفتخيل حين تفهم أفكار الفلاسفة بفكر فيلسوفأكثر من رائع ، خاصة في ظل اسلوب رسل السهل والمتواضع أيضاًفنراه يعترف في الكتاب أن نظرية الزمان والمكان لكانط صعبة الفهم وأنه نفسه عاني ليفهمهاجميل

  • Dr. Elkhatib
    2019-05-12 20:13

    Enjoyed the comprehensive eye-opening knowledge. Highly recommended.

  • Tariq Fadel
    2019-04-27 01:53

    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 sense romantic. It also covered part of the Islamic philosophy and acknowledged its influence on european culture. The part on the church in the medieval era was too historic and somewhat boring. I also didn't like that this major work didn't adress existentialist philosophy more than a short harsh criticism of Nietzsche.

  • Cassandra Kay Silva
    2019-05-14 00:12

    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 says he was going to on how that relates to society. I got really excited reading the preface and thinking, yes! This guy is trying to do exactly what I want him to do: talk about the relationships between philosophy and the world at large from a sociological and political standpoint. Fantastic! Only he didn't really get enough into it to make that happen for me. I still have to rate this five stars as it is an amazing work and very enjoyable. I read it slowly and with my favorite study buddy google, and there was a lot of great information here and I do think its a valuable and well put together piece. It just wasn't as good as Gotlieb to me, I found his writing more fresh and enjoyable, and I couldn't get past that.

  • Animesh
    2019-05-15 04:17

    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 engaging way possible. Need I say more? Read it.[Alas, my paperback copy is falling apart...I should get a newer edition, but I'd loath to part with this tattered and yellowed book that I cherish so much]

  • Spyros Passas
    2019-05-02 21:19

    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 this is a work that should be in your library (and in a very accessible shelf)

  • Carlo
    2019-05-16 20:07

    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 see it somewhat unfair to totally ignore some figures such as Kierkegaard or even the impact of Freud on philosophical thought when writing a history, and hence the 4 stars. Though non-comprehensive and outdated concerning the important scientific findings of the second half of the 20th century, this is a good introduction to philosophy and I will surely refer to it in the future. It is relatively easy and beautifully written and Russell's sense of humor is one of a kind.

  • Sophia_yang
    2019-04-21 00:22

    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 purpose merely to add one to their number. My purpose is to exhibit philosophy as an integral part of social and politicallife.That's my first time to read a book written by a man of Wales. I personally think it's great!

  • Roderick Vincent
    2019-05-13 23:04

    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.

  • PaulPerry
    2019-05-15 22:22

    In this wonderfully wide-ranging, intelligent and humane book Russell not only introduces the most important philosophers and philosophies from the ancient Greeks onward (in the Western tradition, that is, he alludes occasionally to oriental traditions where they influence western philosophy, but on the whole they are outside his remit), he gives the historical and social context from which the philosophies rose. I found this to be particularly valuable; my modern mind often has difficulty how some beliefs could have been held, but when Russell explains how it was not only more important for a philosophy to be internally consistent than anything else, but that before the era of modern science so much was unknown about the way the world and the universe worked that it was less clear cut what was feasible and what impossible, I felt I understood a lot more. I will not pretend to have understood all the philosophy herein - I have read very little philosophy, and i think that it is an area that needs a certain frame of mind or a thorough grounding, or possibly both - but putting the various philosophies into both historical context and into a continuum with the ideas on which they were built gave me a far greater understanding than I otherwise would have gained.Even more important to this is Russell's wonderful style. He describes ideas and events with a clarity and fluidity which is astounding, even if some of the ideas still remain somewhat opaque simply because of their complexity to my way of thinking. He is a joy to read, bringing the historical detail and the lives of the philosophers to three dimensions, and regularly throwing in gems of urbane wit that sometimes had me chuckling out loud. While he describes the ideas, for the most part, with academic disinterest (although never dryly), Russell does not necessarily seek to be unbiased; he is forthright in saying, for example, that he not only disagrees with Nietzsche but dislikes his outlook, his fascination with violence, admiration for conquerors and dismissal of 'trivial' humanity. Russell shows, obliquely, how his own philosophy is driven by a belief in humanity and that, while progress might not be inevitable as the writers of the early industrial age seemed to believe, it can be brought about and sustained by human action. He also, in the closing chapter, points out why philosophy is vital to our understanding while at the same time recognising that it has many shortcomings.Bertrand Russell had a truly magnificent mind and a privileged education, but even taking this into account, one of the things this book shows is something we seem to have lost in the current world of educating people for a specific vocation; Russell shows, and expects his readers to have, a familiarity not only with the subject on which he is writing, but with history, literature and culture beyond that relatively narrow field. Reading a book like this shows how vitally important that is, that making bridges between isolated subjects can lead to a greater understanding of all of them.There are flaws, both of which I shall put down to the times in which he was writing;this book was written in the 1940s when Russell was already in his 70s. He lived to be 98. He tends to write that 'men have written' or 'men think' where a more modern writer would say 'people have written' or 'scholars think' (although one of the first modern academics to whom he refer is a woman). The other is in the chapter on the 19th century, when he mentions Darwin. While he does not quite get Darwin's theory right, I think this is largely because he was writing in a time when the theory had become distorted both by social Darwinists and by other bits of superfluous baggage that have been dropped away, and before clinching evidence like DNA was discovered.A book I will keep close by to listen to again, and get hold of a paper copy so I can pore in more detail over some of the more difficult theories.

  • Niklas
    2019-05-17 04:05

    As many others surely have pointed out there are two main problems I can see with this book.1) Bertrand Russell is an analytical philosopher and thus automatically looks upon all continental philosophy with the smugness and superiority so typical of the British.2) This was written in the middle of World War II and thus every philosopher is viewed with a contemporary lens of suspicion. Often Russell will simply sort out philosophers as being either proto-Fascists, proto-Communists or Liberals like himself.There are some interesting chapters here and there but in many sections Russell's blatant bias becomes irritating. This bias becomes especially heavy handed once we get to the "modern" philosophers.If you're looking for a decent introduction on Western philosophy, keep looking.