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By Stephen Trombley
A brief, sharp and wonderful survey of the advance of all elements of the Western philosophical culture from the traditional Greeks to the current day.
Stephen Trombley's A brief heritage of Western Thought, outlines the 2,500-year background of ecu principles from the philosophers of Classical Antiquity to the thinkers of today.
No significant consultant of any major strand of Western suggestion escapes Trombley's realization: the Christian Scholastic theologians of the center a long time, the good philosophers of the Enlightenment, the German idealists from Kant to Hegel; the utilitarians Bentham and Mill; the transcendentalists Emerson and Thoreau; Kierkegaard and the existentialists; the analytic philosophers Russell, Moore, Whitehead and Wittgenstein; and - final yet no longer least - the 4 shapers-in-chief of our smooth international: Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein.
A brief background of Western Thought is a masterly distillation of two-and-a-half millennia of highbrow historical past, and a readable and interesting crash direction in Western philosophy.
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Extra info for A Very Short History of Western Thought
Carnap is mainly fascinating simply because he studied lower than Husserl for 2 years earlier than happening to turn into a scholar of Frege’s – so he was once uncovered to the instructing of the respective fathers of the continental and analytic traditions. Carnap’s philosophy was once profoundly trained via Russell’s Principia Mathematica. His so much influential paintings used to be The Logical Syntax of Language (1934), which in flip had an excellent effect at the English thinker A. J. Ayer. In his Language, fact and good judgment (1936), one of many best-selling books within the heritage of English-language philosophy, Ayer built the verification precept, which holds that statements containing propositions that can't be established – for example, all of these in metaphysics and theology – are, actually, meaningless. For these of the analytic persuasion, Ayer had, at a stroke, comprehensive the task that Frege and Russell had began with the demolition of idealism in Britain. certainly, Ayer acknowledged on a number of events that, after him, the paintings of philosophy was once performed. Metaphysicians are musicians with no musical skill. Rudolf Carnap, ‘The removing of Metaphysics via Logical research of Language’ (1932) (trans. Arthur Pap, 1959) Karl Popper (1902–94), the top thinker of technological know-how within the glossy interval, additionally fled the Nazis. An Austrian Jew, Popper first went to New Zealand, prior to settling in Britain. Popper made significant contributions to Western philosophy. the 1st used to be to strengthen the philosophy of technological know-how as a self-discipline in its personal correct. within the common sense of clinical Discovery (1935) and Conjectures and Refutations (1963), Popper defined how medical theories are shaped, why a few live to tell the tale, and why others don’t. He rejected the verification precept of the logical positivists and argued exactly the contrary – that falsifiability is the right kind criterion for fact. Popper referred to as his technique serious rationalism, and observed himself as carrying on with paintings that have been begun via Hume and Kant. Popper’s moment significant contribution to philosophy was once his defence of liberal values via opting for historicism (the thought that social and cultural phenomena are decided via background) because the enemy of freedom. His The Poverty of Historicism (1957), a chain of lectures given in 1936, highlighted the evil that resulted from ‘fascist and communist trust in Inexorable legislation of historic Destiny’. within the Open Society and Its Enemies (1945) Popper pointed out Plato, Hegel and Marx as selling the historicist creed accountable for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Hannah Arendt (1906–75) created the self-discipline of contemporary political philosophy. within the Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) she first defined the contours of that tendency intimately, tracing its roots within the upward push of anti-Semitism in Europe. Arendt studied with Husserl and the German theologian Rudolf Karl Bultmann (1884–1976), yet her inner most impression was once Heidegger, whose lover she was once whereas an undergraduate at Marburg. Like Heidegger, Arendt had a deep appreciation of historical Greek philosophy.