The Dream of Reason

The Dream of Reason

A History of Western Philosophy From the Greeks to the Renaissance

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
The author turns the history of philsophy on its head, re-examining the basic assumption of philosophical thought from the pre-Socratic philosophers to Erasmus.

Norton Pub
A stunning successor to Bertrand Russell's classic, A History of Western Philosophy. In this landmark new study of Western thought, Anthony Gottlieb approaches philosophy through its primary sources, questions many pieces of conventional wisdom, and explains his findings with unbridled brilliance and clarity. From the pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato, and Aristotle to Renaissance visionaries like Erasmus, "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 were quickly co-opted by other branches of knowledge, leading to the illusion that philosophers never make any progress. From the physics of angels to Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, Gottlieb builds through example and anecdote a vivid portrait of the human drive to understanding. After closing The Dream of Reason, readers will be graced with a fresh appreciation of the philosophical quest and its influence on every aspect of life.

Book News
Gottlieb (executive editor, The Economist ) looks at the writings of philosophers, questioning many pieces of conventional wisdom. Each of 14 chapters focuses on a different philosopher or school of thought, from the pre-Socratic philosophers, through the works of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, on to the Renaissance. Throughout, Gottlieb treats philosophy as a discipline whose breakthroughs are often co-opted by other branches of thought, leading to the illusion that no progress has been made. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

The author re-examines the basic assumptions of philosophical thought from the pre-Socratic philosophers to Erasmus.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 2000
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780393049510
Branch Call Number: 180 GOT
Characteristics: ix, 468 p. ; 24 cm


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