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The History of Philosophy

Written by: A. C. Grayling
Narrated by: Neil Gardner
Length: 28 hrs and 6 mins

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Publisher's Summary

The story of philosophy is an epic tale: an exploration of the ideas, views and teachings of some of the most creative minds known to humanity. But since the long-popular classic Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy, first published in 1945, there has been no comprehensive and entertaining single-volume history of this great intellectual journey.   

With his characteristic clarity and elegance A. C. Grayling takes the listener from the worldviews and moralities before the age of the Buddha, Confucius and Socrates, through Christianity's dominance of the European mind, to the Renaissance and Enlightenment, and on to Mill, Nietzsche, Sartre and philosophy today. And, since the story of philosophy is incomplete without mention of the great philosophical traditions of India, China and the Persian-Arabic world, he gives a comparative survey of them, too.  

Intelligible for students and eye-opening for philosophy listeners, he covers epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, political philosophy and the history of debates in these areas of enquiry, through the ideas of the celebrated philosophers as well as less well-known influential thinkers. 

He also asks what we have learnt from this body of thought and what progress is still to be made. The first authoritative and accessible single-volume history of philosophy for decades, remarkable for its range and clarity, this is a landmark work.

©2019 A. C. Grayling (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • avidreader
  • 11-01-20

Excellent content.. Audible should sort navigation

Audible need to add detailed chapter headings (chapter no.s only) otherwise you can’t navigate through the 28 hours of Grayling’s excellent content.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. S
  • 13-07-19

Instant classic

An instant classic. Big update and improvement upon Russell's. Interesting and relevant bio of each philosopher in the time line. A thoughtful history, well composed, it shows a great sense of balanced judgements, he's generous to those he doesn't agree with. If this was released anonymously I would have still loved this but I do admit I've been long time fan of A. C. Grayling, Towards the Light and Among Dead Cities have been influential on me over the last ten years since I read them.

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  • Samuel Marsden
  • 15-02-20

Chapters

This is a book detailing all of the major philosophers in history, and the chapters are listed 1,2,3 ext, so finding a specific section of philosophers or one specific philosopher is incredibly frustrating, this needs to be fixed.

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  • Luca Nicotra
  • 27-01-20

The best survey on Western Philosophy on Audible

Excellent survey of the wester philosophical canon. The author has an excellent grasp of the matter and a gift for making it accessible.

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  • Matthew Holmes
  • 10-10-19

A great introduction to philosophy

A great book. As a novice in philosophy, I found it very informative and digestible. It is a long book, but given the content, I guess it has to be.

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  • Stephen
  • 25-06-19

The Audible Audio Book needs some love

A book of this length needs some work when presented in Audip Book format. For example a list of titles rather than just chapter numbers. Also, the narrator doesn't seem to engage at all with the material, and is simply reading in a child-like manner. My advice would be to get Russell's HoWP first if you haven't got it already.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pierz Newton-John
  • 25-10-19

Lucid, balanced, thorough.

An excellent follow up read/listen to Russell's History of Western Philosophy, bringing the story up to date and covering eastern philosophy as well. My gripe is with the narration. Neil Gardner has a pleasant reading voice, but if you are going to narrate a history of philosophy, your should learn to pronounce the key names, terms and book titles roughly correctly. What's more, what is the exact point of quoting American philosophers in a sometimes embarrassingly bad American accent, while reading everything else in your own accent? It made me burst out laughing (in a bad way) when he first did it halfway through the book. Just read it straight and don't add the distraction of silly accents that do nothing for the listening experience. That said, still giving it 5 stars.