The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

by Will Durant

Hardcover(Library Binding - THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY)

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Overview

Examines the history of speculative thought by focusing on such dominant personalities as Plato, Bacon, Spinoza, Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780808577690
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 01/01/1991
Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 539,702
Product dimensions: 4.12(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

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Chapter 1

Plato

I. THE CONTEXT OF PLATO

If you look at a map of Europe you will observe that Greece is a skeleton-like hand stretching its crooked fingers out into the Mediterranean Sea. South of it lies the great island of Crete, from which those grasping fingers captured, in the second millennium before Christ, the beginnings of civilization and culture. To the east, across the Ægean Sea, lies Asia Minor, quiet and apathetic now, but throbbing, in pre-Platonic days, with industry, commerce and speculation. To the west, across the Ionian, Italy stands, like a leaning tower in the sea, and Sicily and Spain, each in those days with thriving Greek colonies; and at the end, the "Pillars of Hercules" (which we call Gibraltar), that sombre portal through which not many an ancient mariner dared to pass. And on the north those still untamed and half-barbaric regions, then named Thessaly and Epirus and Macedonia, from which or through which the vigorous bands had come which fathered the geniuses of Homeric and Periclean Greece.

Look again at the map, and you see countless indentations of coast and elevations of land; everywhere gulfs and bays and the intrusive sea; and all the earth tumbled and tossed into mountains and hills. Greece was broken into isolated fragments by these natural barriers of sea and soil; travel and communication were far more difficult and dangerous then than now; every valley therefore developed its own self-sufficient economic life, its own sovereign government, its own institutions and dialect and religion and culture. In each case one or two cities, and around them, stretching up the mountainslopes, an agricultural hinterland: such werethe "city-states" of Eubœa, and Locris, and œtolia, and Phocis, and Bœotia, and Achæa, and Argolis, and Elis, and Arcadia, and Messenia, and Laconia -- with its Sparta, and Attica -- with its Athens.

Look at the map a last time, and observe the position of Athens: it is the farthest east of the larger cities of Greece. It was favorably placed to be the door through which the Greeks passed out to the busy cities of Asia Minor, and through which those elder cities sent their luxuries and their culture to adolescent Greece. It had an admirable port, Piræus, where countless vessels might find a haven from the rough waters of the sea. And it had a great maritime fleet.

In 490-470 B. C. Sparta and Athens, forgetting their jealousies and joining their forces, fought off the effort of the Persians under Darius and Xerxes to turn Greece into a colony of an Asiatic empire. In this struggle of youthful Europe against the senile East, Sparta provided the army and Athens the navy. The war over, Sparta demobilized her troops, and suffered the economic disturbances natural to that process; while Athens turned her navy into a merchant fleet, and became one of the greatest trading cities of the ancient world. Sparta relapsed into agricultural seclusion and stagnation, while Athens became a busy mart and port, the meeting place of many races of men and of diverse cults and customs, whose contact and rivalry begot comparison, analysis and thought.

Traditions and dogmas rub one another down to a minimum in such centers of varied intercourse; where there are a thousand faiths we are apt to become sceptical of them all. Probably the traders were the first sceptics; they had seen too much to believe too much; and the general disposition of merchants to classify all men as either fools or knaves inclined them to question every creed. Gradually, too, they were developing science; mathematics grew with the increasing complexity of exchange, astronomy with the increasing audacity of navigation. The growth of wealth brought the leisure and security which are the prerequisite of research and speculation; men now asked the stars not only for guidance on the seas but as well for an answer to the riddles of the universe; the first Greek philosophers were astronomers. "Proud of their achievements," says Aristotle, "men pushed farther afield after the Persian wars; they took all knowledge for their province, and sought ever wider studies." Men grew bold enough to attempt natural explanations of processes and events before attributed to supernatural agencies and powers; magic and ritual slowly gave way to science and control; and philosophy began.

At first this philosophy was physical; it looked out upon the material world and asked what was the final and irreducible constituent of things. The natural termination of this line of thought was the materialism of Democritus (460-360 B. C.) -- "in reality there is nothing but atoms and space." This was one of the main streams of Greek speculation; it passed underground for a time in Plato's day, but emerged in Epicurus (342-270), and became a torrent of eloquence in Lucretius (98-55 B. C.). But the most characteristic and fertile developments of Greek philosophy took form with the Sophists, travelling teachers of wisdom, who looked within upon their own thought and nature, rather than out upon the world of things. They were all clever men (Gorgias and Hippias, for example), and many of them were profound (Protagoras, Prodicus); there is hardly a problem or a solution in our current philosophy of mind and conduct which they did not realize and discuss. They asked questions about anything; they stood unafraid in the presence of religious or political taboos; and boldly subpoenaed every creed and institution to appear before the judgment-seat of reason. In politics they divided into two schools. One, like Rousseau, argued that nature is good, and civilization bad; that by nature all men are equal, becoming unequal only by class-made institutions: and that law is an invention of the strong to chain and rule the weak. Another school, like Nietzsche, claimed that nature is beyond good and evil; that by nature all men are unequal; that morality is an invention of the weak to limit and deter the strong; that power is the supreme virtue and the supreme desire of man; and that of all forms of government the wisest and most natural is aristocracy.

No doubt this attack on democracy reflected the rise of a wealthy minority at Athens which called itself the Oligarchical Party, and denounced democracy as an incompetent sham. In a sense there was not much democracy to denounce; for of the 400,000 inhabitants of Athens 250,000 were slaves, without political rights of any kind; and of the 150,000 freemen or citizens only a small number presented themselves at the Ecclesia, or general assembly, where the policies of the state were discussed and determined. Yet what democracy they had was as thorough as never since; the general assembly was the supreme power; and tho highest official body, the Dikasteria, or supreme court, consisted of over a thousand members (to make bribery expensive), selected by alphabetical rote from the roll of all the citizens. No institution could have been more democratic, nor, said its opponents, more absurd.

During the great generation-long Peloponnesian war (430-400 B. C.), in which the military power of Sparta fought and at last defeated the naval power of Athens, the Athenian oligarchic party, led by Critias, advocated the abandonment of democracy on the score of its inefficiency in war, and secretly lauded the aristocratic government of Sparta. Many of the oligarchic leaders were exiled; but when at last Athens surrendered, one of the peace conditions imposed by Sparta was the recall of these exiled aristocrats. They had hardly returned when, with Critias at their head, they declared a rich man's revolution against the "democratic" party that had ruled during the disastrous war. The revolution failed, and Critias was killed on the field of battle.

Now Critias was a pupil of Socrates, and an uncle of Plato.

II. SOCRATES

If we may judge from the bust

Table of Contents

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
INTRODUCTION: ON THE USES OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER I
PLATO

I. The Context of Plato
II. Socrates
III. The Preparation of Plato
IV. The Ethical Problem
V. The Political Problem
VI. The Psychological Problem
VII. The Psychological Solution
VIII. The Political Solution
IX. The Ethical Solution
X. Criticism

CHAPTER II
ARISTOTLE AND GREEK SCIENCE

I. The Historical Background
II. The Work of Aristotle
III. The Foundation of Logic
IV. The Organization of Science
1. Greek Science before Aristotle
2. Aristotle as a Naturalist
3. The Foundation of Biology
V. Metaphysics and the Nature of God
VI. Psychology and the Nature of Art
VII. Ethics and the Nature of Happiness
VIII. Politics
1. Communism and Conservatism
2. Marriage and Education
3. Democracy and Aristocracy
IX. Criticism
X. Later Life and Death

CHAPTER III
FRANCIS BACON

I. From Aristotle to the Renaissance
II. The Political Career of Francis Bacon
III. The Essays
IV. The Great Reconstruction
1. The Advancement of Learning
2. The New Organon
3. The Utopia of Science
V. Criticism
VI. Epilogue

CHAPTER IV
SPINOZA

Historical and Biographical
1. The Odyssey of the Jews
2. The Education of Spinoza
3. Excommunication
4. Retirement and Death
II. The Treatise on Religion and the State
III. The Improvement of the Intellect
IV. The Ethics
1. Nature and God
2. Matter and Mind
3. Intelligence and Morals
4. Religion and Immortality
V. The Political Treatise
VI. The Influence of Spinoza

CHAPTER V
VOLTAIRE AND THE FRENCH ENLIGHTENMENT

I. Paris:Œdipe
II. London: Letters on the English
III. Cirey: The Romances
IV. Potsdam and Frederick
V. Les Délices: The Essay on Morals
VI. Ferney: Candide
VII. The Encyclopedia and the Philosophic Dictionary
VIII. Ecrasez l'Infame
IX. Voltaire and Rousseau
X. Dénouement

CHAPTER VI
IMMANUEL KANT AND GERMAN IDEALISM

Roads to Kant
1. From Voltaire to Kant
2. From Locke to Kant
3. From Rousseau to Kant
II. Kant Himself
III. The Critique of Pure Reason
1. Transcendental Esthetic
2. Transcendental Analytic
3. Transcendental Dialectic
IV. The Critique of Practical Reason
V. On Religion and Reason
VI. On Politics and Eternal Peace
VII. Criticism and Estimate
VIII. A Note on Hegel

CHAPTER VII
SCHOPENHAUER

I. The Age
II. The Man
III. The World as Idea
IV. The World as Will
1. The Will to Live
2. The Will to Reproduce
V. The World as Evil
VI. The Wisdom of Life
1. Philosophy
2. Genius
3. Art
4. Religion
VII. The Wisdom of Death
VIII. Criticism

CHAPTER VIII
HERBERT SPENCER

I. Comte and Darwin
II. The Development of Spencer
III. First Principles
1. The Unknowable
2. Evolution
IV. Biology: The Evolution of Life
V. Psychology: The Evolution of Mind
VI. Sociology: The Evolution of Society
VII. Ethics: The Evolution of Morals
VIII. Criticism
1. First Principles
2. Biology and Psychology
3. Sociology and Ethics
IX. Conclusion

CHAPTER IX
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

I. The Lineage of Nietzsche
II. Youth
III. Nietzsche and Wagner
IV. The Song of Zarathustra
V. Hero-morality
VI. The Superman
VII. Decadence
VIII. Aristocracy
IX. Criticism
X. Finale

CHAPTER X
CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHERS

Henri Bergson
1. The Revolt Against Materialism
2. Mind and Brain
3. Creative Evolution
4. Criticism
II. Benedetto Croce
1. The Man
2. The Philosophy of the Spirit
3. What Is Beauty?
4. Criticism
III. Bertrand Russell
1. The Logician
2. The Reformer
3. Epilogue

CHAPTER XI
CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN PHILOSOPHERS

Introduction
I. George Santayana
1. Biographical
2. Scepticism and Animal Faith
3. Reason in Science
4. Reason in Religion
5. Reason in Society
6. Comment
II. William James
1. Personal
2. Pragmatism
3. Pluralism
4. Comment
III. John Dewey
1. Education
2. Instrumentalism
3. Science and Politics
Conclusion
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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