6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2011
This book delivers even more than promised, and that says a lot. The tag line says "Big Ideas Simply Explained". The introductory essay is the best summary of philosophy that I have seen. When one considers the amount of scholarship that must have gone into each thightly written analysis, one can only be amazed. Each entry has an essay, descriptive concept map, and title that summarizes the gist of each philosopher's work. I first found the book in the library, then ordered a copy for me,and later, after showing it to my friends, ordered two more copies forf them. Good job!
Clearly the product of considerable efforts, this book superbly succeeds in attractively presenting major philosophers and their chief ideas in chronological order from Antiquity to the 21st century.
One to six pages are devoted to each philosopher. In addition to a short but significant essay, each of these sections includes:
• a ‘context’ box pointing out the applicable philosophical branch and approach as well as main predecessors and followers;
• a short biography;
• a list of key works;
• references to linked thinkers discussed elsewhere in the book;
• short quotations in bold script.
The colourful and lively lay-out is fully worthy of current technological possibilities. Illustrations are abundant: cartoons, diagrams, photos of paintings or of philosophers’ portraits, etc.
The book also includes timelines, a glossary, an index and a ‘directory’ of noteworthy truth-seekers who are not covered in individual sections.
This work is warmly recommended to all: those familiar with philosophy will benefit from a unique synthesis and others will be stimulated to further their exploration of the topic.