Passion of the Western Mind

Passion of the Western Mind

3.8 7
by Richard Tarnas
     
 

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"[This] magnificent critical survey, with its inherent respect for both the 'Westt's mainstream high culture' and the 'radically changing world' of the 1990s, offers a new breakthrough for lay and scholarly readers alike....Allows readers to grasp the big picture of Western culture for the first time."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Here are the great minds of Western

Overview

"[This] magnificent critical survey, with its inherent respect for both the 'Westt's mainstream high culture' and the 'radically changing world' of the 1990s, offers a new breakthrough for lay and scholarly readers alike....Allows readers to grasp the big picture of Western culture for the first time."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Here are the great minds of Western civilization and their pivotal ideas, from Plato to Hegel, from Augustine to Nietzsche, from Copernicus to Freud. Richard Tarnas performs the near-miracle of describing profound philosophical concepts simply but without simplifying them. Ten years in the making and already hailed as a classic, THE PASSION OF THE WESERN MIND is truly a complete liberal education in a single volume.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tarnas charts the development of Western thought from the ancient Greeks, throwing a sharp light on ideas central to the modern outlook. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"No other such overview provides, in equal compass, as clear and cogent a survey. Its scholarship is impeccable....For its length it is the best intellectual history of the West I have ever seen." —Huston Smith, Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley
"The most lucid and concise presentation I have read of the grand lines of what every student should know about the history of Western thought."—Joseph Campbell

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307804525
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/19/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
560
Sales rank:
330,667
File size:
2 MB

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Passion of the Western Mind 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
As a college graduate and life time student, I have found this single text to be of great importance to my understanding of our western culture. I consider this to be prized book, a must for the shelf of layman and scholar alike. It is written in a way that takes a hold of the reader, much like a suspense novel, and carries the reader along for a tour of people, places, times, and of course the ideas that came from these well springs. It was most difficult to put down. Every moment spent within its pages is time spent well. I would highly recommend this text to anyone seeking to improve their comprehension and understanding of our western culture's contribution to the current state of mankind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
well written, sums up the evolution of western thought quite nicely. i once saw a documentary of a region in africa where the women dominate the men. i think the author would be thrilled to reside there. as for me, i like women who want their men to take charge and be masculine. this future femenine world the author anticipates with great yearning, i'll pass.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Passion Of The Western Mind by Richard Tarnas. Every once in awhile someone manages to put everything into a certain perspective. Twenty years earlier Theodore Roszak¿s The Making of a Counter Culture, with it¿s contemporary Romantic assessment, it¿s defense of rebellious youth, it¿s critical overview of a culture that appeared to have nothing to teach us precisely because it had no understanding of its own culture and what the traditions of that culture were, anticipated this book, a book which is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand the real history of Western Civilization. This is the book Conservativism seems to be lacking, and conversely makes clear what it is that is lacking in Conservativism, the larger perspective, the perspective that is not a simple polarization meant to escape from the human condition into a childlike simplicity, but rather a detailed account of how we have arrived at this place and time. Tarnas, for all of his dialectical subjectivity, comes as close to an objective assessment as is humanly possible in our time, and he does it by taking everything and everyone seriously, by respecting what human beings believe and have believed as far back as we have evidence of what they believed. There is no simple right or wrong for Tarnas. He insists on being a historian from his own time, with all of its hope and its despair, its knowledge and lack of knowledge, its passionate astonishment of the interpretation that emerges as his story unfolds. An example of this is the fascinating portrayal of the Copernican paradigm, of how modern science evolved, not in the way we are accustomed to think of it, but because both modern and Hellenic astronomers were steeped in astrology, indeed driven primarily for astrological certainty. Or how both the rise and fall of the Catholic Church were at least in part predicated on its millennium long marriage to Roman paganism. From Judaism to Christianity, from the Renaissance to the Reformation, from the modern to the post modern, Tarnas gives us the 21st Century version of Hegel¿s movement of history and the mysterious interplay of history and ideas. By so doing I think Tarnas returns us to the traditional dialogue, educates us again to discuss our religion and our politics in accordance with our whole heritage and not just a part of it. What¿s more, his outline of the contemporary scene in the last pages, and his analysis of the possible directions in which we are headed, give an unusual relevance to this history without ever forgetting that it is a history that has repressed its feminine voices and has yet to fully extend its hand to non western traditions. In fact, anyone who is even remotely familiar with the religious and philosophical heritage of the east might find it hard to read through this book without wondering if the long western journey is only now beginning to approach the wisdom of the ancient Taoists and perhaps the Buddhists and Hindus as well. I, for one, would love to see a similar comprehensive history of the East and am filled with excitement at the prospect of a mature feminist paradigm. Despite the West¿s immense schism between the mind and the soul Tarnas leaves us with the impression that the human adventure continues afloat on its spiritual Odyssey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
as a system that functions within any government today is faulty there fore the rate of exchange between them is disfunctional creating an existance that is absolete or going backwards