Philosophical Tales: Being an Alternative History Revealing the Characters, the Plots, and the Hidden Scenes That Make Up the True Story of Philosophy / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$75.72
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $10.79
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $10.79   
  • New (6) from $52.26   
  • Used (7) from $10.79   

Overview

Was Socrates really the saintly figure he became for later philosophy? Why is it doubtful that Descartes ever really uttered, "I think, therefore I am"? And what did Sartre have against waiters, anyway? The history of philosophy is filled with great tales - many of them fictions, misrepresentations, falsehoods, lies, and fibs. Or are they just misstatements, prevarications, and narratives not entirely based on fact? In the true spirit of a broad philosophical debate, Philosophical Tales dips a toe into the great sea of philosophy to collect, deconstruct, and relate many of history's great - and not so great - philosophical tales.

Enlightening and entertaining, Philosophical Tales examines a few of the fascinating biographical details of history's greatest philosophers (alas, mostly men) and highlights their contributions to the field. By applying the true philosophical approach to philosophy itself, the text provides us with a refreshing "alternative history" of philosophy.

Mind you, why should someone want to know that Kant rolled himself three times in his sheets each night before sleeping, that Schopenhauer pushed a poor old lady down the stairs, or that Marx spent as much time on beer and women as he did in the British Library? Yet, by examining the seeming trivialities of philosophers' lives - and skewering a few cherished myths along the way - Philosophical Tales provides us with illuminating insights that will encourage a more active, critical way of thinking. Blaise Pascal may have put it best when he said, "To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher."

About the Author:
Martin Cohen is a teacher and writer specializing in philosophy,ethics, and education, with a special interest in computing

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“We need more stories in philosophy, and Martin Cohen aims to fill this lacuna with Philosophical Tales. [This book] is intended for a general audience interested in a satirical introduction to overlooked aspects of Western philosophy and the lives of the great philosophers.  Philosophical Tales does tell a number of interesting stories, and any instructor of philosophy will find it handy to have these stories available to enliven a class.  Instructors will also find it valuable to use these philosophical tales to raise a compelling question: is a philosophy only as good as the philosopher who proposes it?” (Teaching Philosophy, December 2009) 

"Great philosophers only become well known after their deaths. Indeed, to speak of contemporary celebrity philosophers is oxymoronic. Still, one can't help wondering who amongst living philosophers will merit future Philosophical Tales. (The Philosopher, Autumn 2008)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405140362
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/3/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Cohen is a teacher and writer specializing in philosophy, ethics and education, with a special interest in computing. His books include 101 Philosophy Problems (2nd edn., 2001), Political Philosophy (2001), 101 Ethical Dilemmas (2003), and Wittgenstein's Beetle and Other Classic Thought Experiments (Blackwell, 2005). He has been editor of The Philosopher since 1995.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Forward!     viii
How to Use this Book     x
Philosophical Illustrations     xiii
The Tales
The Ancients     1
Socrates the Sorcerer (469-399 BCE)     3
The Different Forms of Plato (ca. 427-347 BCE)     7
Aristotle the Aristocrat (384-ca. 322 BCE)     14
More Ancients     27
Lao Tzu Changes into Nothing (6th-5th C. BCE)     29
Pythagoras Counts Up to Ten (ca. 570-495 BCE)     33
Heraclitus Chooses the Dark Side of the River (ca. 5th C. BCE)     41
Hypatia Holds Up Half of the Sky (ca. 370-415 CE)     45
Medieval Philosophy     51
Augustine the Hippocrite (354-430 CE)     53
St. Thomas Aquinas Disputes the Existence of God (1225-1274)     61
Modern Philosophy     73
Descartes the Dilettante (1596-1650)     75
Hobbes Squares the Circle (1588-1679)     82
Spinoza Grinds Himself Away... (1632-1677)     89
Enlightened Philosophy     97
John Locke Invents the Slave Trade (1632-1704)     99
The Many Faces of David Hume (1711-1776)     107
Rousseau the Rogue (1712-1778)     123
Immanuel Kant, the Chinaman of Konigsburg (1724-1804)     132
The Idealists     139
Gottfried Leibniz, the Thinking Machine (1646-1716)     141
Bishop Berkeley's Bermuda College (1685-1753)     155
Headmaster Hegel's Dangerous History Lesson (1770-1831)     163
Arthur Schopenhauer and the Little Old Lady (1788-1860)     171
The Romantics     179
The Seduction of Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)     181
Mill's Poetical Turn (1806-1873)     188
Henry Thoreau and Life in the Shed (1817-1862)     193
Marx's Revolutionary Materialism (1818-1883)     199
Recent Philosophy     205
Russell Denotes Something (1872-1970)     207
The Ripping Yarn of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)     214
Heidegger's Tale (and the Nazis) (1889-1976)     221
Benjamin Lee Whorf and the Color Pinker (ca. 1900-1950)     231
Being Sartre and Not Definitely Not Being Beauvoir (1905-1980 and not 1908-1986)     239
Deconstructing Derrida (1930-2004)     245
Scholarly Appendix: Women in Philosophy, and Why There Aren't Many     251
Key Sources and Further Reading     259
Acknowledgments     268
Index     269
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)