James M. Russell has a philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, a postgraduate qualification in critical theory, and has taught at the Open University in the UK. He lives in North London.
Philosophical Classics: The Thinking Person's Guide to Great Philosophical Booksby James M. Russell
Over the centuries, philosophers, novelists, psychologists, and social critics have grappled with complex and often contradictory questions. What is the meaning of life, if it has one? How should we live our lives? What do we really know? Why do we think things are knowable? Are the words we use a world unto themselves, or do they signify something in the “real world”—whatever that is? Is this the best of all possible worlds or must it be remade, and how? Do alternative universes exist?
Philosophical Classics is an incomparable guide to significant works of philosophical thought. Rather than focus exclusively on the most serious, difficult works, it accepts that enlightenment can be found in many places and many guises, some of them quite unexpected. So, in addition to a whirlwind tour of classics by philosophers such as Plato, Descartes, Kant, and Nietzsche, it covers great philosophical novels and poems, as well as books in other disciplines that have generated philosophical ideas, such as psychoanalysis, politics, and more popular genres of writing with a philosophical bent.
Each entry provides a detailed but accessible summary of a given book and its key points, often referring back to earlier philosophical writings, and features a capsule overview “Speed Read” as a bonus. Although written in a brisk, breezy style, Philosophical Classics conveys the essence of each work under discussion.
From Winnie the Pooh to Ludwig Wittgenstein, Ayn Rand to Carl Jung, and Jacques Derrida to Philip K. Dick, this book condenses twenty-five centuries of thought from five continents into a remarkable and indispensable guide.
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