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Publisher's Summary

An essential introduction to the history, concepts, and thinking behind philosophy that demystifies what can often be daunting subject matter, laid out in DK's signature style.

Are the ideas of René Descartes, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes still relevant today? The Philosophy Book unpacks the writings and ideas of more than 100 of history's biggest thinkers, taking you on a journey from ancient Greece to the modern day. Explore feminism, rationalism, idealism, existentialism, and other influential movements in the world of philosophy.

From Socrates to Confucius to Julia Kristeva, The Philosophy Book breaks down difficult concepts in an approachable style. Cutting through the haze of academia and untangling complicated theories to show how our social, political, and ethical ideas are formed, The Philosophy Book contextualizes the information around time periods, innovative thinkers, method, and philosophical approach.

The Philosophy Book is a perfect and comprehensive introduction to a complicated and fascinating subject.

©2015 DK (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"In The Philosophy Book, the ideas and thoughts of more than one hundred of the most influential philosophers from the ancient world through today are presented in a succinct, yet highly readable, format. From all corners of the world and from different traditions and approaches to philosophy and the art of reasoning, the contributors to this excellent book highlight the impact of each philosopher on his society and how it affected the development of subsequent ideas. Students of philosophy or those interested in human thought will thoroughly enjoy this book. This volume is an excellent addition to a general philosophy collection." (Voice of Youth Advocate/VOYA Magazine)

What listeners say about The Philosophy Book

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    3 out of 5 stars

Book has a problem dealing with indian philosophy!

Listening to it now!Just finished the chapter on mediveal philosophy which was amazing. Book has a huge problem dealing with indian philosphy. For example, the entire positioning of Buddha's ideas being against all the ideas of that time seems ridiculous! As anybody who knows anything about upnishads and their teachings as well as as various schools of thought would agree that Buddha's views are mainly against the Mimansakas of that time. We are still not sure if mimansaka's views were followed by the masses! In any case Mimansakas were atheists as far as their views on god are concerned. They believed that mere rituals/mantras were sufficient to get desired effect. Surprisingly many of the ideas propounded by Buddha seem to be present in sankhya as well as yoga, both being the highly respected philosophies of buddha's time! There are factual inaccuracies as well, it is mentioned in the book that Arthur Schopenhauer was influenced by Buddhism whereas in his " The world as will and idea" , Schopenhauer himself claimed to be influenced by upnishadic thought aka vedanta! This is a simple fact that can be verified very easily.
In the medieval philosophy chapter talking about sufism and completely ignoring much older texts of Ramanujacharya that led to Bhakti movement in india and influenced great seers like Kabir is simply not unignorable!
Furthermore,not including yoga, sankhya, vaisheshik philosophy of atomism,indian materialism followed by Charvakas as well as mathematical contribution of indians while discussing philosphy, simply goes on to show ignorance of the western world about India.

7 people found this helpful

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A big empty book

The book is well organised; but the good things end there. The major flaw is in the selection and weightage given to individual philosophers: the author has marginalised eastern philosophy and focused on western philosophy (which is still ok) but strangely stressed it where it doesn’t excel. Most of the advancement in almost all areas of our physical life is the result of the great importance which the western world has given in the ‘external’ world viz science, technology, politics etc. But for stressing on the mankind’s effort to explore the mind one should get the help of eastern philosophers. ( I am not meaning psychology which might be an excellent approach but it’s science and not philosophy). Strangely the book focuses in it’s big part, exactly in this area, but through the brains of the western philosophers. In this area, if eastern philosophy is an extremely delicious dish, western philosophy is not even a pack of the necessary ingredients needed to cook that dish, but only a very impractical recipe. It’s not possible to travel from India to Australia by the train; you will not reach your destination; you will only roam around your starting point. The author has chosen the wrong vehicle to explore a good destination. If he wanted still to stress on western philosophers, he should have chosen more persons who excels in other areas of philosophy just like he has selected Karl Marx. Good that he touched Rumi and Buddha but it composes only a minute part of this big book and fails overall in making it a book which conveys something.

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  • J OLIVEIRA-FILHO
  • 08-10-19

Excellent starting point for learning philosophy

I downloaded this audiobook to get a general sense of philosophy and was not disappointed. In a clear language, the authors go through centuries of thinkers and explain their overall ideas, which shape how we think today. Made me curious to read more works from some of these thinkers. A superb experience!

18 people found this helpful

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  • Madi
  • 19-11-20

Best listen to familiarize yourself

One of my best listens as I was aiming to get a brief and familiarize myself with the topic as a refresher before delving further; and I'm considering to purchase the hardcopy to keep it as a reference.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Dot
  • 04-05-20

Delightful

fantastic. the only thing was the last section of the book said modern philosophy 1950- so I dont know why they spent alot of time on things before this time and overall i didnt get much from this section that I was hoping for. everything before that was great though.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-12-20

review

I enjoyed the book very informative. breakdown different branches of philosophy. great for general knowledge

4 people found this helpful

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  • RF
  • 07-02-21

Great synopsis

A great synopsis from which I learned a lot. It is very dense via audio so I will listen to it again soon.

For anyone familiar with many of the philosophers, this is a good way to augment the integration of thoughts.

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  • Ramon Rosario
  • 23-03-21

red pill

chicken fingers are the least trivial part of all of this. God is dead. ty

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-02-20

Enjoyable and useful

I enjoyed the way the book puts the various theories and philosophers in context. I think this book could be of interest to anyone. It might be of particular interest to those studying for higher degrees.

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  • Aaron Thomas
  • 05-04-21

Overall good, sometimes hard to keep track

Overall very good info and interesting. Sometimes difficult to keep track of all the important names, dates and how they flow together.