The Story of Philosophy
by Will Durant

Durant traces philosophy through the lives of some of the most prominent philosophers. He oversimplifies their ideas I'm sure, but it serves to introduce the essential distinctions and he suggest the best books to read for each particular philosopher. The most striking thing that I've noticed in my Ancient Philosophy course is that those old Greeks set up the basic schools of thought which have carried on through history with few important changes or additions. They made more progress in 200 years with little to work with than has been made in the 2000 years since. But why couldn't they have simpler names?

Durant writes well. I was pleased that he devoted so much attention to the philosophy of Herbert Spencer. Unfortunately, Spencer is no longer considered to be important. If Durant were writing this book now, he would probably omit Spencer entirely.

Year Read: 1966

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