The Story of Philosophy

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The unprecedented success of Jostein Gaarder's Sophie's World has fueled a worldwide explosion of interest in philosophy, yet there are few accessible introductions to this subject. Harnessing DK's unparalleled ability to make words and pictures work together, The Story of Thought simplifies a subject in which we all have interest, but which few find accessible. Bryan Magee, world-renowned philosopher and author makes The Story of Thought an easy pathway into the history of ideas and thinking. Features 30 key philosophers including Plato, Aristotle, and Nietzshe .Follows the best-selling format of the highly successful Sister Wendy's Story of Painting.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Magee has taught philosophy at Oxford, and in each of these volumes he attempts to make philosophy understandable to the lay reader. The DK book devotes just a few pages to each of the major thinkers and is lavishly illustrated. It would be suitable for high school, college, and public libraries. Great Philosophers is a series of conversations with important contemporary philosophers about the major historical figures, originally produced for the BBC. Confessions is an autobiographical excursion through Western philosophy. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
YA-This gloriously illustrated and accessible book enables readers to embark on an adventure in philosophy. The chapters cover "The Greeks and Their World," "Christianity and Philosophy," "The Beginnings of Modern Science," "The Great Rationalists," "The Great Empiricists," "Revolutionary French Thinkers," "A Golden Century of German Philosophy," "Democracy and Philosophy," and "20th-Century Philosophy." The text is profusely illustrated with numerous full-color reproductions of artwork and photographs of historical sites; sidebars introduce additional people and ideas and "Key Works" of the philosophers are listed in light-blue boxes. Writing with a clear and lively style, Magee provides an excellent introduction to the topic. Young adults will find that the often closed doors of philosophy are now open and inviting.-Marsha S. Holden, Highland Community College, Freeport, IL
Thoughtfully balanced and living up to the publisher's reputation for attractive presentation, this reference traces 2,500 years of Western philosophy from the ancient Greeks to modern thinkers. It makes themes and important figures accessible to general readers, with enough substance for more experienced students. Text is interspersed with abundant, well-chosen art reproductions illustrating concepts and themes, as well as photos, sidebars, and quotes that help set the context. Suggesting that readers next tackle the great philosophers themselves, the guide to further reading identifies particular works and editions and also lists some convenient and accessible introductions and overviews. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789479945
  • Publisher: DK
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 207,035
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents


-An Invitation to Philosophy

The Greeks and their World

-Before Socrates




-The Cynics

-The Sceptics

-The Epicureans

-The Stoics

Christianity and Philosophy

-Saint Augustine

-Medieval Philosophy

The Beginnings of Modern Science

-Copernicus to Newton


-Francis Bacon


The Great Rationalists




The Great Empiricists





Revolutionary French Thinkers




A Goldern Century of German Philosophy



-East and West






Democracy and Philosophy

-The Utilitarians

-The American Pragmatists

20th-Century Philosophy

-Frege and Modern Logic

-Russell and Analytic Philosophy

-Wittgenstein and Linguistic Philosophy


-Bergson and Recent Fresh Philosophy


-The Future of Philosophy


Guide to Further Reading



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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2011

    Exemplary Introductory Specimen of Western Philosophy

    I own the first paperback edition, so some of the features of this edition might not be the same.

    - to get the shallow out of the way... looks-wise the paperback has glossy finish, that cool book-smell, and innumerable bright shiny illustrations. Yes, you can judge this one book by its cover. The quality of appearance matches the contents.

    - intuitive text layout. Magee differentiates types of references by way of margin boxes with supplementary, often key information.

    - Content: concise, specific in its choice of words, clear summations of the philosophers' lives and their ideas. This book is wonderful for those who always wondered about philosophy but never made up their minds as to how to introduce themselves to it in an accessible way.

    - Great for reference

    - A brief section on Eastern philosophy for comparison, especially when it comes to Schopenhauer.

    - If you space out the reading of this book for 1 year, reading a couple of pages per day, you'll have no trouble recalling every concept.

    - I got smarter after reading this book. This book exemplifies why books are important. It makes you think if you truly dedicate yourself to it.

    - LOTS of reference material.

    - Wonderful, albeit short vocabulary section.

    - As it is a textbook, some might find it verbally "dry", but remember that this is not a personality contest. This is about explanation of sometimes difficult concepts. The Ontological (Anselm's) Argument cracked my skull. That's one of very few times when Magee's language confused me.

    Overall - GREAT BOOK- 99.99% of it. Really. Get it. It made me wanna learn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2006

    Professor Magee delivers!

    Professor Magee book delivers a thoughful overview of the history and development of philosophy. While this an abridged version, the reader is able to understand the issues tackled by the different figures and better understand the impact that each had then and later in time. This is a delightful overview and ideal for those of us that were unable to fit a course or two in philosphy as an undergraduate!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2002

    An excellent overview of Western Philosophy

    Bryan Magee has created an excellent overview of all the main strands and individuals in western philosophy. For those with a passing interest,or those entering the subject for the first time, this is as good a place to start as any.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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