A Relaxed History of Philosophy

08 Apr

Among the books I promised to read (post), Nigel Warburton’s Brief History of Philosophy (L & PM Pocket, 2017) was the first, had other priorities.

It is a relaxed and cheerful way of reading philosophy, it has the advantage of being easy for readers who are not initiated, but in my view lack some depth and some authors, just to name two Husserl and Heidegger, however the rest of the set is consistent.

It begins properly with Plato and Socrates, with the suggestive and philosophical title “The Man Who Asked” and from the beginning makes the reader reason to show the difference between being immoral and deceitful in a dialogue between Socrates and Euthydemus, which shows the reader the importance concepts and dialogue as a method of educating.

He will explain in a dialogue with Queroponte that when asking an old wise woman an oracle of Delphi, if there was someone wiser than Socrates receives the answer “No” and will say it to Socrates, who wonders about the fact since “I knew so little.”

He thus clarifies what philosophy is, as “love of wisdom” and from there his disciple will leave (in fact only Socrates is known by Plato), say that the wise should rule, and this will be how the Platonic school will begin, and then more later that of his disciple Aristotle.

The chapter of Aristotle has the title “The true happiness”, a curious and intelligent trait of Warburton that is to give soon in the title a key of reading, again which is simplistic, but it helps the reader and creates an interest in the subject.

The third that I comment on here, also a wise choice, is Pyrrhus, for he was the most skeptical of that time (365 BC), which is important for opposing dogmatism.

It is possible to elect this author because avoiding too much reading, which few people do today, is able to teach lay readers in the subject, for this is seen as popularizer of the philosophy.


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