A tour of Western thought by one of the world's most eminent philosophers--in a book that fits in the palm of your hand
In this brief overview, Kolakowski (senior research fellow, All Souls Coll., Oxford; Main Currents of Marxism) examines ideas and questions raised by past philosophers who have "opened up new directions of thought for future generations," among them Socrates, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, and Nietzsche. He explains that the book is not meant to be an introduction to philosophy, but an examination of the essential ideas in each of these philosophers' thought. The brief chapters, arranged in chronological sections, end with questions and contradictions that arise from their theories. Instead of answering these questions, the author leaves them for the reader to ponder. The book's strength is Kolakowski's choice of philosophers, whose topics cover a broad range, from the existence of God to epistemology and ethics. What's more, the writing is clear and straightforward, which makes the collection accessible for those new to philosophy. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.