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The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy…
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The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the… (original 2000; edição 2001)

por Anthony Gottlieb (Autor)

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691525,530 (3.77)9
Philosophy is a subject with a long history and a short memory. In this landmark new study of Western thought, Anthony Gottlieb looks afresh at the writings of the great thinkers, questions many pieces of conventional wisdom and explains his findings with unbridled brilliance and clarity. From the pre-Socratic philosophers such as Empedocles, whose account of the cosmos seems "a mixture of the physics of Stephen Hawking and the romantic novels of Barbara Cartland," through the celebrated days of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, up to Renaissance visionaries like Erasmus and Bacon, "philosophy" emerges here as a phenomenon unconfined by any one discipline. Indeed, as Gottlieb explains, its most revolutionary breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences have repeatedly been co-opted by other branches of knowledge, leading to the illusion that philosophers never make any progress.… (mais)
Membro:Stan627
Título:The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance
Autores:Anthony Gottlieb (Autor)
Informação:W W Norton & Co Inc (2001), 352 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance por Anthony Gottlieb (2000)

Adicionado recentemente pordcon108, ZippyDaPinhead, mgplavin, jcesparza, iaross, jncc, A.DORNFELD, tOoManYto, Gryzenia
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In "The Dream of Reason", Anthony Gottlieb takes a massive topic -- the history of Western philosophy from the pre-Socratic Greeks up to the Renaissance -- and distills it into an clear, comprehensive, and highly enjoyable read. This is no mean achievement. Gottlieb, however, makes it look effortless while maintaining a high intellectual standard: he relies on primary sources, puts philosophical developments in an historical context, and traces the influence of various schools of thought on later developments. I learned a lot from this book, and thoroughly enjoyed the process. Now, on to his subsequent book -- "The Dream of Enlightenment". ( )
  annbury | Nov 25, 2016 |
I will confess to having a degree in Philosophy, which, from a practical stand point, may seem kind of pointless. My father certainly thought so when I was in college. 'What are you going to do with that?' he would say. 'There's no jobs in it.' His degree was in accounting and he worked as an auditor. He knew about money. And because he did, I didn't feel I needed to. That was back when I was young and not especially aware of the need to actually earn an income of my own some day. My insufferable reply was usually something like, 'I'm going to college for an education, not for job training.' Yeah, great comeback. Very philosophical, but try paying the rent with it!

Admittedly, a degree in Philosophy isn't for everyone, but we all have a philosophy, at least as it's broadly defined. We each have a particular way of looking at the world, complete with reasons (or at least rationalizations) of why we see it this way. Our personal philosophies form the foundations of everything we think and do. They color our perceptions and shape our actions. In this respect, our philosophies are pretty important, so sparing a thought or two for them is probably worthwhile.

In this book, Gottlieb takes us back to some of the earliest recorded reflections on ways of seeing the world, from ideas about what it 'really' is, to how people should live in it. I don't recall ever reading a better summation of the main points of the most prominent thinkers: from ancient Greece (where all sorts of ideas, both wild and insightful were espoused and criticized) to the Renaissance (when rationalization tended to dominate over rationality). He also clears up a few common misconceptions about some philosophers. I, personally, gained a greater appreciation for Aristotle from this book. Like many, I tended to view his philosophy as one of the things impeding progress in the Middle Ages. But it wasn't the fault of Aristotle or Ptolemy or Galen that their works were regarded as something close to sacred long after their deaths, and they probably would not have approved to learn that they were.

The Dream of Reason is a great read. It's concise, informative, even entertaining. Gottlieb achieves the latter through clear prose and by providing just a bit of analysis from a modern perspective, which puts the ideas he's explaining in context and shows their progression over time. If you're a student of philosophy or just someone with a mild interest, you should read this.

( )
1 vote DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
This book bears a strong similarity, and only a marginal superiority, to Bertrand Russell's history of philosophy. Gottlieb is readable and pretty entertaining, so the book reads surprisingly quickly. However, he clearly expresses the same biases and snobbishness of Russell, at times lending to the work a sense of simplicity that is downright ridiculous. Admittedly, the book is a historical survey rather than an exhaustive examination of the individual philosophies of those studied, but Gottlieb (like Russell) is prone to forcing much of the historical arguments and conflict into a materialist-intellectual v. theological/mystical/anti-rational paradigm.

While this oversimplification is perhaps simply a function of Gottleib's hard-line analytic philosophical training, it is a position which can only be justified if one refuses to take seriously 1) much of the work of the philosophers he discusses, 2) the underlying complexity of the historic change of ideas, culture, knowledge, beliefs, and human politics, and 3) the possibility that the history of knowledge does not progress along a simple linear model already available to contemporary authors. Much of this could have been easily addressed in the work by mellowing the simplicity and presence of the reason v. anti-reason distinction, by discussing in further depth some parts of these philosophers works which do not have direct correlates in modern analytic philosophy departments, by including a greater varieties of thinkers, by mentioning further historic problems, and occasionally by taking certain ideas which on their surface are alarmingly precocious and demonstrating that they really don't explain and predict as well as they might at first seem.

Overall, few of these problems are any different in nature than those apparent in Russell's work, but the author's introduction claims that he has gone to great lengths to try to read the original works and interpret them as approaching them rigorously and for the first time. For this reason, I expected more novelty and more attention to the detail and nuance of these early philosophical works; I expected to see a re-figuring of some canonical philosophers' works; I expected to see new thinkers rise in importance and new problems become apparent. None of these were apparent. Although Gottlieb does expose some new interesting bits and marginalia from time to time, his general interpretations of any major idea or figure conform with near exactness to pre-existing accepted standards. Gottlieb does not illuminate new problems, approaches, thinkers, interpretations, etc.

That said, most of the features of the book will make it worth a read for many readers. For all its flaws, Gottlieb's book packs a lot of information and history into a relatively small space. It gives many philosophical ideas and figures a worthy highlighting, and it demonstrates some useful and interesting precursors to more contemporary thinkers and ideas. If you have read Bertrand Russell's History of Philosophy, don't bother with Gottlieb's book, but if you have not, you may simply want to read Gottlieb's book instead. Once you have read one or the other, though, don't assume you have a good grasp on philosophical history. Find a good list of historical thinkers and see who's missing, or who received little airtime in these books and check out their works separately, or perhaps find a book on the history of ideas or the development of philosophy in culture (perhaps something with a Continental philsophy angle) to get a more balanced idea of what problems face what Gottlieb is content to view as a stable notion of reason. ( )
1 vote jxn | Apr 6, 2010 |
9 July 2001
The Dream of Reason
Anthony Gottlieb

I have been reading philosophy fairly steadily of late. This book is a very readable history of philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance, concentrating on Western ideas. I learned much about pre-Socratic thought, and the evolution of atomist ideas, from the extensive section on this subject. I also ran into some late medieval philosophers that I had heard about only vaguely, such as Gassendi. The exposition of the late Greek and Roman schools of the Stoics and Epicureans was very enlightening. Mr. Gottlieb is not an academic, but an executive editor of the Economist. He is working on another book that will extend the history from Descartes to modern times. ( )
  neurodrew | Aug 23, 2009 |
A very good to excellent survey of Western philosophy, beginning at the begining with Thales and running through Aquinas. Very good discussion of the Stoics, Epicureans and Skeptics, however a rather rushed overview of Augustine and Aquinas. Still on the fence on the sections about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. I candidly got the feeling he was coming from one perspective and likely giving some others short shrift. But, doubtless space constraints played a part in this. The anecdotes were by and large entertaining without being too intrusive. Apparently he is working on a sequel to bring us through the present day. ( )
  worldsedge | May 6, 2007 |
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Philosophy is a subject with a long history and a short memory. In this landmark new study of Western thought, Anthony Gottlieb looks afresh at the writings of the great thinkers, questions many pieces of conventional wisdom and explains his findings with unbridled brilliance and clarity. From the pre-Socratic philosophers such as Empedocles, whose account of the cosmos seems "a mixture of the physics of Stephen Hawking and the romantic novels of Barbara Cartland," through the celebrated days of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, up to Renaissance visionaries like Erasmus and Bacon, "philosophy" emerges here as a phenomenon unconfined by any one discipline. Indeed, as Gottlieb explains, its most revolutionary breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences have repeatedly been co-opted by other branches of knowledge, leading to the illusion that philosophers never make any progress.

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