A History of Western Philosophy

D. W. Hamlyn, Author, David W. Hamlyn, Author
D. W. Hamlyn, Author, David W. Hamlyn, Author Viking Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-80243-2
Reviewed on: 06/26/1987
Release date: 07/01/1987
Hamlyn's survey is more than an academic history of ideas, for he attempts to weigh the achievements of the philosophers discussed and recreate their thought processes. His narrative is subtle and skeptical, as one would expect from someone who is himself a philosopher and editor of the journal Mind. Hamlyn stands Sartre on his head by arguing that existentialism is totally incompatible with Marxism. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, who put the human body at the hub of phenomenal fields, is arguably the best French philosopher of this century, in the author's judgment. Another section explains why some people are repelled by Spinoza's monism (the belief that we are all modifications of the one substance, which is God). From the pre-Socratics of Asia Minor to Bertrand Russell and Michel Foucault, philosophers are challenged on their own turf by this succinct survey. (July)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!