Throughout history, well-known theories of reality, knowledge, mind, and most particularly the "professional" philosophers who rely on them for their intellectual existence, have sought to isolate universal truths and structure the history of philosophy to distinguish schools and movements that seek a comprehensive understanding of our world. But in this well-intended pursThroughout history, well-known theories of reality, knowledge, mind, and most particularly the "professional" philosophers who rely on them for their intellectual existence, have sought to isolate universal truths and structure the history of philosophy to distinguish schools and movements that seek a comprehensive understanding of our world. But in this well-intended pursuit of truth, have we lost sight of what philosophy is? Matthew Stewart believes we have.His rowdy guided tour of the search for truth romps through traditional histories of philosophy using parables, imaginary dialogues, and illustrations to demonstrate that knowing theories, recognizing revered schools, and distinguishing the views of the great philosophers isn't what philosophy should be about. Once removed from the clutches of historicism, the compulsion for universal answers, and the perception that reason is a peculiarly Western possession, the nature of philosophy can be seen as a genuine human disposition to love and respect knowledge coupled with a desire for critical thinking....
|Title||:||The Truth About Everything: An Irreverent History of Philosophy with Illustrations|
|Number of Pages||:||482 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Truth About Everything: An Irreverent History of Philosophy with Illustrations Reviews
This book was written in the 90s and one of the author's many targets Postmodernism has receded somewhat since then. However the book could be called a common sense history of philosophy. The author has an allergy to wilder and woolier thinking from philosophy. He seems to have a lot of respect for Hume and more down to earth clear speaking philosophers but every one gets some lampooning in this history. It is a much needed antidote for people like myself who are susceptible thought intoxication and ideological capture. Good reminder to keep an open mind and open eye but to keep a fully armed Bullshit detector operating at all times.
It's a pity this book hasn't reached a wider audience (judging from the few ratings and lack of any detailed review here, so far). It occupies a little niche of its own without being merely a novelty.The book is great on many levels. Don't let the "irreverent" or "illustrations" parts in the title give the wrong idea. As a serious, straightforward history of philosophy, it's the most interesting and informative I've come across (compared to books of similar length of course, not multi-volume philosophy encyclopedias/histories). The author may have a cynical, negative bias on the value of philosophy (despite his philosophy background, Oxford degree, etc) but this becomes an asset here. A single volume on history over millennia inevitably has to have the ideas written in a short and down to earth manner, perhaps as unromantically or unlovingly as possible. The book covers most schools and philosophers that a layman may have heard of (and perhaps many more, depending on the person) and most sections are surprisingly deep. Despite the inevitable brevity, I often reread parts to follow the concepts/arguments, there are few words wasted.On another level, the humorous parts aren't shallow attempts at crudity or light-heartedness, they almost always connect to the philosophy. I write the review a few years after I read the book, and what makes me remember more the serious parts is the creative analogies, the parodies, etc. The fun part was educational.As for the author's arguments throughout the book (and especially in the end), he tries to show the wordiness, over-complication, pretension and dogma (as well as other negatives) that he finds making constant appearances in the history of philosophy. But he's self-aware to understand that his ideas could be classified as philosophy also, that his opinion isn't that unique (there's a rich history of anti-philosophy philosophers), and more importantly, that once philosophy bashing is taken too far it becomes fanaticism/dogma, what he criticizes throughout. And for another exception to the rule (the dogma), the section on David Hume is surprisingly so quiet and respectful that considering the general negative tone, it becomes equivalent to a moving, glorious tribute. I write this to try to show that even if one disagrees with the author's premise and arguments, the book can still be extremely enjoyable and engaging, you can take what you want from it, whether you take philosophy seriously or not.
Very funny and entertaiment way to see philosophy.
I first happened upon La Rochefoucauld in Stewart's book, and I am grateful.
Review and rating to come.