The Great Philosophers: Russell
By Ray Monk
The Great Philosophers:Marx
By Terry Eagleton
Part of the GREAT PHILOSOPHERS series.Terry Eagleton explains that freedom, for Marx, entailed release from commercial labour, "a kind of creative superabundance over what is materially essential". Eagleton outlines the relationship between production, labour and ownership which lie at the core of Marx's thinking. Marx's utopia was a place in which labour is increasingly automated, emancipating the wealth of sensuous individual development so that "savouring a peach [is an aspect] of our self-actualisation as much as building dams".
The Great Philosophers:Heidegger
By Johnathan Ree
The Great Philosophers: Nietzsche
By Ronald Hayman
A short book combining extracts from the work of one of the world's greatest thinkers combined with commentary from one of Britain's most distinguished writers on philosophy.
The Great Philosophers: Hegel
By Raymond Plant
Part of the GREAT PHILOSOPHERS series.G.W.F. Hegel 1770-1831Without Hegel, modern thought is unthinkable. From Marx to Merleau-Pontyh, from Kierkegaard to Nietzsche, those whose ideas have made the modern age have all worked in his shadow.For Hegel's preoccupations have turned out to be our own. The isolation of the individual adrift in society, the yearning of the divided self for an integrated wholeness: these are anxieties his successors have shared. The rival claims of the personal and the public, the immediate instant and the wider historic narrative: these have remained pressing problems through two hundred years of change.Yet if his 'philosophy' seems as contemporary as ever, Hegel's 'religious' views have been dismissed as irrelevant anachronism. The distinction is false, however. In his theological explorations, suggests Raymond Plant in this illuminating new guide, Hegel tackled the issues of interest to us all.
The Great Philosophers: Ayer
By Oswald Hanfling
Part of the GREAT PHILOSOPHERS series.A.J. Ayer 1910-1989Ayer is best remembered for Language, Truth and Logic (1936), which introduced British and American readers to the logical positivism of the Vienna circle. Hanfling shows in this introduction to Ayer's work how he turned this philosophy into a form of British empiricism in the tradition of Hume.According to Ayer, philosophy is an activity of analysts. Metaphysical truths can be neither established nor refuted by philosophical enquiry: they are meaningless. In support of this claim, he deployed his 'principle of verifiability'. But he found it difficult to refine the principle 'in such a way as to find a middle ground between [an] over-strict requirement' which would disqualify perfectly ordinary statements as meaningless, and 'the over-indulgent licensing of gibberish' - including that of metaphysics.
The Great Philosophers: Wittgenstein
By Peter Hacker
The Great Philosophers: Socrates
By Anthony Gottlieb
The Great Philosophers: Plato
By Bernard Williams
The Great Philosophers:Pascal
By Ben Rogers
The Great Philosophers:Derrida
By Christopher Johnson
Part of the GREAT PHILOSOPHERS series.Jacques Derrida 1930-2004As critics investigate the 'death of the author', they find Derrida's prints all over the murder weapon. No other recent philosopher has aroused so much suspicion - or been so badly misrepresented.His every idea a tug at the rug beneath us, questioning our sense of ourselves, our world and the language by which both are articulated, Derrida would make uncomfortable reading under any circumstances. Add to this an at time vertiginous abstruseness and a following whose 'deconstructive' readings appear to be doing away with writing as we know it, and the hostility is understandable.Yet as Christopher Johnson shows in this eloquent, exhilarating guide, 'deconstruction' doesn't mean 'destruction' - nor does it involve any 'con'. In what may seem mere convoluted cleverness, momentous consistencies can be found; in Derrida's apparently rarefied rhetoric can be read the most radical, relevant commentary we have on the world we inhabit today.
The Great Philosophers:Collingwood
By Aaron Ridley
The Great Philosophers: Turing
By Andrew Hodges
The Great Philosophers: Spinoza
By Roger Scruton
Born to be misunderstood, Spinoza was a man whose theology was banned for Godlessness. The very virtuosity of his reasoning left logicians unsettled, while even to professional thinkers in our own time, Spinoza has seemed too clever by half. And yet, as Roger Scruton shows in this strikingly readable introduction to the man and his though, Spinoza's concerns were both simple and sublime. Few philosophers, indeed, have shown such a straightforward, sustained and honest interest in uncovering the most fundamental aspects of existence. Too important to be dismissed as a mere genius, Spinoza is rediscovered here in all his quiet and consoling simplicity.
The Great Philosophers:Schopenhauer
By Michael Tanner
The Great Philosophers:Kant
By Ralph Walker
The Great Philosophers: Hume
A short book combining extracts from the work of one of the world's greatest thinkers with commentary by on of Britain's most distinguished writers on philosophy.
The Great Philosophers: Descartes
By John Cottingham
The Great Philosophers: Voltaire
By John Gray
Part of the GREAT PHILOSOPHERS series.Voltaire's savage laughter range out across eighteenth-century Europe, puncturing the pomposities and hypocrisies of power. Kings and cardinals felt the sting of his satire; governments and aristocracies endured his derision.Yet the aims of the Enlightenment's clown were nothing if not serious: to throw back the blinds of ignorance and superstition and let the sun of science and intellect stream in; to rebuild benighted Christendom as a new civilisation, secular and free.Herald of reason and revolution, Voltaire's mocking voice has echoed through two centuries of change. But as the Enlightenment's achievements have come increasingly into question, the joke has rebounded on the comedian himself. A creation of Christianity in way he never realised, Voltaire owed more to his epoch's orthodoxies than he could have ever guessed.John Gray's absorbing provocative introduction offers a radical reassessment of a fascinating and important figure, at once demythologizing the icon and revealing his genuine greatness.
The Great Philosophers: Popper
By Frederic Raphael