World Philosophies: A Historical Introduction / Edition 2

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This popular text has now been revised to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the growing number of people interested in all the main philosophical traditions of the world.

  • Introduces all the main philosophical systems of the world, from ancient times to the present day.
  • Now includes new sections on Indian and Persian thought and on feminist and environmental philosophy.
  • The preface and bibliography have also been updated.
  • Written by a highly successful textbook author.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘A multicultural feast of ideas and arguments! In language that is expressive, clear and often humorous, David Cooper has written a compelling history of philosophy, covering as it does not only the major figures in Western thought but also the main trends in non-Western philosophy.' Robert L. Arrington, Georgia State University

‘By opening the door to cross-cultural comparison, Cooper has let in a draught that may blow away the whole house of cards, and uncover the parts of philosophy that the histories never reached.' Jonathan Rée, Times Higher Education Supplement

Library Journal
Cooper is an imaginative philosopherthe author of Metaphor (Blackwell, 1986), the best book on its subject. He has written one of the few histories of philosophy that gives nearly equal time to non-Western thought, and he has traced the main ideas without getting bogged down in detail or lapsing into vapid generalizations. Ultimately, Cooper's task is impossible. Concentration on canonical thinkers who seem to appear miraculously, the major sin of historians of philosophy, is inevitable. But he does put them into contexts that make sense, and he does try to provide some continuity. Inevitably, too, some figures are slighted. McTaggart does not even appear in the bibliography. Descartes still figures as the mad dualist attacked by British philosophers of the 1950s. But Cooper's treatment is generally sound, and his account of Eastern philosophies is particularly heartening because it recognizes recent Indian and Chinese philosophy and avoids the orientalist antiquarianism that mars so much good writing on these subjects. This is a good book for ordinary readers who want to get the drift of philosophy.Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631232612
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/17/2002
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 580
  • Sales rank: 1,020,659
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.68 (d)

Meet the Author

David E. Cooper is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Durham and Director of the Durham Institute of Comparative Ethics'. He is the author of a number of books, including Metaphor (1986) and Existentialism (1990, second edition 1999). He is also editor of A Companion to Aesthetics (1992), and four volumes in the series Philosophy: The Classic Readings – Aesthetics (1997), Ethics (1997), Epistemology (1999) and Metaphysics (2000). These titles are all published by Blackwell Publishing.

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Table of Contents

Preface to second edition.

1. Introduction.

Part I: Ancient Philosophies: .

2. India.

The 'Schools' and their Framework.


Samkhya and Yoga.

Advaita Vedanta.


Ethics and Indian Philosophy.

3. China.

The Character of Chinese Philosophy.




4. Greece.


Naturalism and Relativism.



Epicureanism, Scepticism and Stoicism.

Part II: Middle Period and 'Modern' Philosophies: .

5. Medieval Philosophies.

Religion and Philosophy.

Neo-Platonism and Early Christianity.

Islamic and Jewish Philosophy.

Thomism and its Critics.

Medieval Mysticism.

6. Developments in Asian Philosophy.

Theistic Vedanta.


Zen Buddhism.


7. From Renaissance to Enlightenment.

Humanism and the Rise of Science.


Dualism, Materialism and Idealism.

Monism and Monadology.

Enlightenment and Its Critics.

Part III: Recent Philosophies:.

8. Kant and the Nineteenth Century.


Absolute Idealism.

Philosophies of the Will.

Marxism and Social Darwinism.

Positivism, Pragmatism and British Idealism.

9. Recent Non-Western Philosophies.


China and Japan.

The Islamic World.


10. Twentieth-Century Western Philosophies.

Philosophies of Life.

Phenomenology, Hermeneutics and Existentialism.

Logical Atomism and Logical Positivism.


Postmodernism and Related Tendencies.



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