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Words of Wisdom: Philosophy's Most Important Quotations and their Meanings
作者 Gareth Southwell
出版社 Quercus Publishing Plc
ISBN 9780857382313
分類 Philosophy > Western Philosophy
價格 HK$160.00
 
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Words of Wisdom brings together 360 of Philosophy’s most famous quotations, explaining their meaning and telling the stories behind them. Western philosophy may be said to have begun in ancient Greece, where, inscribed in his temple at Delphi, the words of the god Apollo commanded those who sought wisdom to first ’know thyself’. From here, we trace this quest through the first ’lovers of wisdom’ - Thales, Pythagoras, Zeno - through some of its early greats - Socrates, Plato, Aristotle - and into modern times. Along the way, we discover the riddles of Heraclitus (’You cannot step into the same river twice’), the military strategy of Sun Tzu (’To win without fighting is best’), the stoicism of Seneca (’Life is long if you know how to live it’), and the faith of St Augustine (’do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that you may understand’). We find out why Thomas Hobbes thought that life is ’nasty, brutish and short’, why Leibniz considered this to be ’the best of all possible worlds’, but how Schopenhauer disagreed, thinking the world more resembled ’a penal colony’! From the famous paradoxes of Zeno, to the no-less-puzzling pronouncements of postmodernism, through almost every philosophical movement and school of thought that has shaped human history, the author provides a whistle-stop tour of the wise words of the great and the good - and, as well, the not so great and the downright naughty. We find out whether Machiavelli’s reputation for wickedness was fully deserved, how the Marquis de Sade gave his name to some very dubious practices, why Nietzsche thought a whip an essential aid to marital relations, and precisely why LSD guru Timothy Leary wanted us to ’Turn on, tune in and drop out’.

Words of Wisdom covers all this and more. With the author’s usual humour and clarity of style, the whole 2,500 year history of philosophy is laid bare. Each quote is set in the context of its cultural background, author biography and general outlook; trends are highlighted, links established, and influences traced, all in a way that is entertaining, thought-provoking, and even fun! Words of Wisdom is the perfect book for those who always wanted to ask what philosophy was about, but were afraid they might not understand the answer.


About the Author:

Gareth Southwell is a freelance philosopher, author and illustrator. He is the author of an ongoing series of introductory philosophy books, including A Beginner's Guide to Descartes' Meditations and A Beginner's Guide to Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil. He lives in Swansea with his wife and children.




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