A Little History of Philosophy, By Nigel Warburton
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Saturday 27 October 2012
This easy-reading tour of Western thought in 40 short chapters (Plato to Turing and Singer) will not please every camp.
From pre-Socratics to post-structuralists, Warburton stakes out his position by omission (so no Heidegger, except as an aside in the chapter on Arendt).
Derrida and co do not exist for him. But on home turf he can be first-rate, from Aristotle's happiness to Mill's liberty and Rawls's justice, with a knack for the pithy anecdote and the striking example.
Smart stockings would benefit from a copy this festive season.
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