The Path of Philosophy: Truth, Wonder, and Distress

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 07/26/2015
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $42.07
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 39%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $42.07   
  • New (6) from $50.20   
  • Used (8) from $42.07   


The Path of Philosophy introduces you to the study of philosophy through a compelling narrative in which the world's most important philosophers appear as characters. The text traces the history of western philosophy from its beginnings in ancient Greece to contemporary developments in the modern world. Threads running through the text demonstrate how philosophy is unique and distinct from religion and science, while at the same time showing how all three disciplines are interrelated. Exceptionally well written, and unusual in its cohesiveness, the text leaves you with a vivid picture of philosophy as a unique and spiritually important field of study.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The following features of this textbook are desirable, innovative, and vital to higher learning. The fact that each chapter begins with guiding questions is innovative and coincides with a learning-centered emphasis, viz., critical thinking and evaluative thinking. Also, that the textbook makes connections between philosophy and contemporary events is essential to the ongoing development of higher learning and for the academic survival of the humanities" -- John Wesley Holder III, Pensacola Junior College

"I admire the author for approaching philosophy in a new and intriguing way. His prose style is simple, elegant and precise." -- Dr. Charles Fethe, Kean University of New Jersey

"The discussion of Wondrous Distress in Existentialism is grand." -- Michael McClure, Prince George's Community College

"It is clear that the author has a passion for philosophy and probably for teaching as well." -- John F. Millard, Boston College

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780495509325
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 568,040
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Marmysz received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition to The Path of Philosophy: Truth, Wonder and Distress, he is the author of The Nihilist's Notebook (Moralinefree Publishing, 1996), Laughing at Nothing: Humor as a Response to Nihilism (SUNY Press, 2003) and he is coeditor (with Scott Lukas) of Fear, Cultural Anxiety and Transformation: Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films Remade (Lexington Books, 2009). Marmysz has written articles and reviews for various journals including Film and Philosophy, Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Film-Philosophy, The Journal of Popular Culture and The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. He is the recipient of a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creativity and has served as an NEH fellow. He currently teaches philosophy at the College of Marin in Kentfield, CA.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments. Preface. INTRODUCTION. Analytic and Continental Styles of Philosophizing. The Love of Wisdom. Religion, Science and Philosophy. What is Philosophy? Philosophy as Wondrous Distress. 1. MYTH, SCIENCE AND PRESOCRATICS. Mythic Thinking. Presocratic Thinking. The Milesian School: Thales and Anaximander Heraclitus. Parmenides and the Eleatic School. The Atomist School: Democritus and Leucippus. From Mere Wonder to Wondrous Distress. 2. SOCRATES. The Difficulty of Perspective. Plato's Socrates. The Influence of Anaxagoras. The Socratic Method. The Trial of Socrates. Xenophon's Socrates. Aristophanes' Socrates. The Wondrous. Distress of Socrates. 3. PLATO. Plato's Divergence from Socrates. The Divided Line. The Myth of the Cave. Plato's Perfect Republic. Plato and Art. Wonder and Distress in Platonic Thinking. 4. ARISTOTLE. Aristotle's Break with Plato. Aristotle and the Nature of Change. The Four Causes Aristotle's Logic. The First Mover. Rationality, Emotion and the Golden Mean. Aristotle's Philosophy of Art. Aristotle and Wondrous Distress. 5. THE HELLENISTIC PHILOSPHERS. The Decline of Greek Power and Hellenistic Negativity. Cynicism. Stoicism. Epicureanism. Skepticism. Suicide and Hellenistic Philosophy. Wonder and Distress in Hellenistic Philosophy. 6. MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY. The Patriarch Abraham and the Covenant with God. Jesus. Muhammad. St. Augustine. The Question of Evil. Islamic Contributions to Early Medieval Thought. Al-Kindi and. NeoPlatonism. Al-Farabi. Avicenna. Averroes. Christian A Priori and A Posteriori Arguments for God's Existence. St. Anselm. The Ontological Argument. Criticisms of the Ontological Argument. St. Thomas Aquinas. The Five Arguments for God's Existence. Criticisms of Aquinas' Five Arguments. Wondrous Distress in Medieval Thought. 7. RENÉ DESCARTES AND THE TRANSITION FROM MEDIVAL TO MODERN THINKING. The Conflict Between Science and Religion in the Early Modern Period. Modern Developments in Astronomy. The Geocentric Model of the Universe. The Heliocentric Model. Rene Descartes. Meditations on First Philosophy. Meditation I. Meditation II. Meditation III. Meditation IV. Meditation V. Meditation VI. Descartes and Wondrous Distress. 8. HUME. The Mind/Body Problem. "Solutions" to the Mind/Body Problem. Thomas Hobbes and Materialism. George Berkeley and Idealism. Arnold Geulincx, Nicholas Malebranche and Occasionalism. Gottfried Leibniz, Baruch Spinoza and Monism. David Hume and the Rejection of Cartesian Metaphysics. John Locke. The Good Natured Hume. The Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Impressions, Simple Ideas and Complex Ideas. Relations of Ideas and Matters of Fact. Cause and Effect. The Ideas of God and the Self. An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. Utility. Hume and Wondrous Distress. 9. KANT'S TRANSCENDENTAL IDEALISM. Totalizers vs. Critics. The Awakening of Kant. The Critique of Pure Reason. The Phenomenal and Noumenal Worlds. The A Priori Intuitions of Time and Space. The Categories of the Understanding. Transcendental Idealism and the Impossibility of Metaphysics. The Regulative Function of Transcendental Ideas. The Critique of Practical Reason. The Good Will. Hypothetical vs. Categorical Imperatives. The Critique of Judgment. Beauty. Sublimity. Kant's Wondrous Distress. 10.HEGEL AND THE MANIFESTATIONS OF GEIST. The Difficulty of Hegel's Philosophy. Hegel's Vision of Unity. The Phenomenology of Spirit Lordship and Bondage. Stoicism, Skepticism and the Unhappy Consciousness. Dialectical Logic. The Abstract Side. The Dialectical Side. The Speculative Side. Absolute Knowing The Doctrine of Being. God. Hegel's Influence. Right, Center and Left Hegelianism. Ludwig Feuerbach. Max Stirner. Karl Marx. Wondrous Distress in Hegelian Philosophy. 11. HAPPINESS, SUFFERING AND PESSIMISM IN KIEREGAARD. Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Mill. Sören Kierkegaard: The Knight of Faith. The Sickness Unto Death. Fear and Trembling. Schopenhauer's Synthesis of Plato, Kant and Hinduism. Piercing the Veil of the Thing-In-Itself. The Will. Anxiety, Suffering and Distress. Friedrich Nietzsche and Positive Nihilism. Will-To-Power. The Superman and the Death of God. Beyond Good and Evil: Nietzsche Contra Utilitarianism. The Greatest Happiness Principle Wonder and Distress in Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Mill. 12. COMMON SENSE AND ANGLO-AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY. The Reaction Against Hegel. William James. Pragmatism. The Tender and the Tough Minded. The Pragmatic Method. The Pragmatic Theory of Truth. Religion. Bertrand Russell Russell's Rejection of Hegel. Logical Atomism. Epistemology. Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description. The Role of Philosophy. Ludwig Wittgenstein. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Philosophical Investigations. Wondrous Distress in Anglo-American Philosophy. 13. EXISTENTIALISM AND THE RETURN TO BEING. Nationalism, Imperialism, Technology and War. Nihilism and the Decline of Civilization. Friedrich Nietzsche. Oswald Spengler. Totalitarianism. The Muselmann. Martin Heidegger The Question of Being. Dasein. Being-Toward-Death. Inauthenticity and Technological Thinking. Authenticity. Heidegger and Nazism. Jean-Paul Sartre. Being-in-itself and Being-for-itself. Freedom and Bad Faith. Simone DeBeauvoir. The Second Sex. Otherness. Women and Biology. Wondrous Distress in Existentialism. Conclusion: Philosophy and Wondrous Distress. Bibliography.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & 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 & 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 & 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 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


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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

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