Philosophy Classics (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

Philosophy Classics (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

by SparkNotes



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781411404335
Publisher: SparkNotes
Publication date: 02/11/2006
Series: SparkNotes Literature Guide Series
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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Philosophy Classics 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Philosophy Classics' is intended as a study guide for college students taking a survey course in philosophy. Nevertheless, both philosophy majors and lay readers in general stand to benefit handsomely from the smart and very readable summaries presented in this handbook. Nineteen philosophers and their major works are covered: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Thomas More, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Mill, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Russell, Wittgenstein, and Sartre. Socrates is also discussed in several chapters devoted to other thinkers, mainly Plato, of course. The handbook provides a brief introduction to philosophy and five of its major branches: epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy, and logic. Aesthetics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of history are also approached in varying degrees throughout the main text. The rest of the book consists of one chapter focusing on a particular philosopher. Each chapter begins with a Context section providing a biographical sketch and historical circumstances for each thinker. A section entitled Themes, Arguments & Ideas follows, highlighting the major problems addressed by the philosopher. Each chapter ends with a substantial Summary & Analysis section where the thinker¿s most important works are discussed in ample detail and his key ideas are analyzed and contrasted to those of other philosophers, a number of whom do not figure in the chosen nineteen, thus extending the reach and usefulness of the book. The quality of the coverage in each section is very good. On average, each philosopher is devoted 22 pages. Readers will find the material most valuable for reading the philosophers¿ original works. The book does not have an index, which detracts somewhat from its intended aim as a study guide. In a few chapters towards the end of the book minor errors managed to pass undetected by editorial revision, but these are rare and can be spotted and corrected by the alert reader from the context of the discussion. Actually, considering this is a first edition, the book is remarkably accurate. These weaknesses pale in significance when compared to the considerable intellectual panorama this handbook manages to survey. All in all, 'Philosophy Classics' deserves a five-star rating. I do hope the editors follow this volume with a second one covering other major philosophers not included in this edition.