The History of Philosophy Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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.
- Get this audiobook free then 1 credit each month, good for any title you like - yours to keep, even if you cancel
- Listen all you want to the Plus Catalogue—a selection of thousands of Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts, including exclusive series
- Exclusive member-only deals
- $16.45 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime
|Listening Length||28 hours and 6 minutes|
|Author||A. C. Grayling|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||20 June 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 1,237 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
1 in History of Ancient Greece
1 in Existentialist Philosophy
1 in Religious Studies (Audible Books & Originals)
Review this product
Top reviews from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Sadly there are a few missing philosophers - for example Ayn Rand and objectivism. A particularly relevant topic I would say in today’s world.
Reading some of Grayling’s other works part of me wonders why such topics were left out.
Top reviews from other countries
I shall update my review when I’ve completed reading the book.
Grayling’s History of Philosophy
I have now completed Anthony Grayling’s History of Philosophy and can truly say that it is a comprehensive and highly impressive work.
It covers not only the history of western philosophy, as Bertand Russell’s book did over 70 years ago, but also philosophies from around the world, including India, China, Arabia and Africa. In addition, there are a number of specific chapters covering themes and developments in philosophy that bring the subject right up to date. Examples include Popper’s theory of falsification, the debate between Rawls and Nozick and various schools that have emerged in the twentieth-century, such as the movement in analytical philosophy and the existentialism of Sartre and Camus. Indeed, Grayling’s history covers just about everything.
But apart from the sheer comprehensiveness of the book, Grayling gets the writing almost perfect; not too difficult, yet also not over simplified as one often gets these days with ‘mini-type’ histories of philosophy, offering no other than ‘snapshots’ of philosophers and their ideas that fail to bring the subject alive for the reader.
Grayling says at the very beginning of the book that he read Russell’s History of Western Philosophy as a schoolboy and relished the clarity of its prose and wit. At the same time he recognised that it was not always accurate. What Grayling does, and does very well, is use Russell as a role model, whilst at the same time you feel you are in the hands of a more impartial writer giving a more accurate account of the philosophical landscape than you would be getting from Russell.
Academics often scoff at Russell’s work but for the general reader his introduction to philosophy has remained supreme for a very long time. This is because Russell was a great writer and communicator. His chapter on Nietzsche is a case in point. Academics, perhaps rightly, may consider it rather shallow with not enough depth. Yet for the general reader the dialogue envisaged by Russell of an imaginary Buddha and Nietzsche stood before the Great Almighty arguing their respective corners is wonderfully done.
However, Grayling has his own style and provides some wonderful anecdotes and asides along the way. Towards the end of the book we have the story between the duke and the bishop when discussing inferences in reasoning. His insertion of Shelley’s Ozymandias as he reflects on who will be remembered in one hundred years time in the philosophical world is beautifully done. And earlier in the volume, Grayling provides some wonderful anecdotes when writing about McTaggart, Bradley and Russell.
In addition, Grayling’s work is much greater in scope than Russell’s. The sections on contemporary philosophers (eg, Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty), philosophical movements (eg, Existentialism, logical positivism and virtue ethics) and world philosophies (China, India and Africa) are not covered in Russell’s earlier history. Indeed, compared to Russell — whose history ended with relatively short accounts of Bergson, the American pragmatists (James and Dewey) and a chapter on The Philosophy of Logical Analysis ― Grayling’s new history stands tall.
The book is also structured particularly well. Starting at the beginning with the Presocratic philosophers, the book progresses through all the centuries and movements right up to modern times. It ends with two impressive small chapters: one that touches on the value of philosophy (Concluding Remarks) and a second that touches on common fallacies in reasoning (A Sketch of Logic). Both are very good.
Grayling writes in his concluding remarks: “Philosophy is the refusal to be lazy about the great questions. It patrols the circumference of the little patch of light that is knowledge, looking out into the dark of ignorance to seek the shapes there.”
I don’t think anyone having read the book could disagree with him.
In short, it is refreshing to have a different philosopher, with a different voice, write about topics and ideas that are truly fascinating. Indeed, Grayling’s book has helped to consolidate my own knowledge on certain topics and furthered my understanding of the subject as a whole, to which I am grateful.
I have read a few of Grayling’s other books but this one in my opinion is his greatest achievement so far. His other books I find more difficult and the writing a little too complicated, neither of which is the case with this volume. Indeed, if it doesn’t replace Russell’s work as the standard introduction to philosophy (a book that has stood the test of time for over 70 years), then it should certainly be read alongside it. Highly recommended.
I hope you find my review helpful.
This was a cheap and quite unnecessary replica. Perhaps, the word, 'cheap' is an exaggeration: since, it is both expensive and poorly produced.
It is well-written but poorly conceived..
Combined with the thickness of the volume, which will not sit open at all, makes for an impossible read.