web site hit counter Ancient Philosophy: A New History of Western Philosophy, Volume 1 - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Ancient Philosophy: A New History of Western Philosophy, Volume 1

Availability: Ready to download

Sir Anthony Kenny tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the first of four volumes in which he unfolds a magisterial new history of Western philosophy. Specially written for a broad popular readership, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosop Sir Anthony Kenny tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the first of four volumes in which he unfolds a magisterial new history of Western philosophy. Specially written for a broad popular readership, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosophers, Kenny's lucid and stimulating history will become the definitive work for anyone interested in the people and ideas that shaped the course of Western thought.


Compare

Sir Anthony Kenny tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the first of four volumes in which he unfolds a magisterial new history of Western philosophy. Specially written for a broad popular readership, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosop Sir Anthony Kenny tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the first of four volumes in which he unfolds a magisterial new history of Western philosophy. Specially written for a broad popular readership, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosophers, Kenny's lucid and stimulating history will become the definitive work for anyone interested in the people and ideas that shaped the course of Western thought.

30 review for Ancient Philosophy: A New History of Western Philosophy, Volume 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jibran

    From Thales to the Hellenistic philosophers, with some interesting information about St. Augustine! The book is well-written and well-organized; and the language is readable! I found the book so informative and enjoyable! I do highly recommend it as a first step before indulging in reading the works of those great philosophers

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline Quackenbush

    Ancient Philosophy by Anthony John Patrick Kenny is the first in a four part collection on the progression of Western Philosophy. This entry covers the span of major philosophical inquiry from the Pre-Socratics to the pre-Christian Augustine. It starts off with the first two chapters chronologically covering the general concepts of the major philosophical players. The next seven chapters each cover a specific aspect of philosophy and the arguments that contributed to each field, including: Logi Ancient Philosophy by Anthony John Patrick Kenny is the first in a four part collection on the progression of Western Philosophy. This entry covers the span of major philosophical inquiry from the Pre-Socratics to the pre-Christian Augustine. It starts off with the first two chapters chronologically covering the general concepts of the major philosophical players. The next seven chapters each cover a specific aspect of philosophy and the arguments that contributed to each field, including: Logic, epistemology, physics, metaphysics, the study of the soul and mind, and god. Despite being in college I have yet to take a single philosophy course (the joys of being a science major), so to fill this gap in my formal education I decided to pick this up. The subject of philosophy told in the context of historical progression is one of the simplest ways to introduce a topic to someone uninitiated (at least in my opinion) which is one of the reasons I started here. Now, I’m not the hugest fan of ancient philosophy, but I still did enjoy this text even if I found a few parts tedious. Most of the tediousness has more to do with my own preferences than anything else. My major complaint with this book would have to be organization. I appreciate that the author attempted something a bit more outside the box than merely speaking from a purely chronological view by concentrating the last seven chapters on philosophical topics. However, I just don’t feel like this method ended up granting anything more to the text than could have been achieved with the simpler organization. In fact, it really became kind of annoying for two large reasons. One: In the introduction to this text he states that the book is meant for those without a background in philosophy, much like myself. That being said, this organization makes the unfamiliar reader have to flip back and forth to the chronological list at the end of the text to keep all of these newly introduced Greek and Latin names straight. Two: If you make a comment like “But we will talk more about this later in Chapter 6” more than a couple of times every single chapter, you are either being a needlessly annoying author or you need to reorganize your book. Seriously, I wish I had counted how many times I read that. Now, despite my criticisms I did actually like this book. It did what it promised and gave me a good basis on the earliest parts of Western Philosophy and it wasn’t nearly as much of a chore as I would have expected. Yes, I think it could’ve been organized more efficiently but it still didn’t totally flop. If you’re looking for a decent intro to the topic or merely a refresher I think this book could be good asset before taking a more in depth look at the work of various individual philosophers. I fully intend on reading the next installment in this series. You can read this review, others, and a wealth of information for independent learners at my blog: http://theacademicjawa.com/?p=297

  3. 4 out of 5

    Xander

    This is an ambiguous book, since it is written as part chronology and part thematic overview. Anthony Kenny uses the first third of Ancient Philosophy (2004) to explain, chronologically, the developments in thinking from the start of philosophy in Antiquity up to the conversion of Saint Augustine. After setting out the main plot and introducting the different characters - so to speak - he delves into the various major themes that were developed in this period. He explains what Presocratics, Socr This is an ambiguous book, since it is written as part chronology and part thematic overview. Anthony Kenny uses the first third of Ancient Philosophy (2004) to explain, chronologically, the developments in thinking from the start of philosophy in Antiquity up to the conversion of Saint Augustine. After setting out the main plot and introducting the different characters - so to speak - he delves into the various major themes that were developed in this period. He explains what Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus and the Stoics thought about subjects like ethics, religion, metaphysics, epistemology, physics, psychology and logic. Even though I am familiar with these subjects, I found this book very tiresome to work through and I can't help but notice Kenny's style is entirely not my cup of tea. When explaining the various subjects - which are already highly abstract and unfamiliar to modern men - he continuously makes use of analogies and illustrations to explain what the philosophers involved meant. After a couple of sentences I have lost track of the main argument and feel like I'm drowning in irrelevant material. Kenny's intention here is to make the material more accessible (which is to be praised) but, counterproductively, it makes the book more inaccessible to me. I have always been a straightforward learner: please just tell me what's the deal and skip all the redundant stuff. But unfortunately, most popular science and philosophy books are aimed at a general audience and their authors go out of their way to flood the reader with examples. I simply hate this and hence I am not content with this book - which is unfortunate since Kenny certainly knows what he's talking about and he has lots of interesting things to say about the different subjects. A second major flaw in Ancient Philosophers is the lack of systematization in the text. Kenny continuously refers to different chapters and the choice of division per thema means that the philosophy of major thinkers is chopped up into many pieces and hussled together with all the other pieces. It simply makes the main ideas hard to grasp in their totality and one constantly gets the picture that there's more to the story (which usually there is - in later chapters). I feel a bit of disappointment, since I looked forward to reading an interesting, modern overview about philosophy the period of Antiquity up to the early Middle Ages. I can't really recommend this book, and I doubt that people who are not or only slightly familiar with the material and thinkers involved can understand Kenny's explanations.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Blosser

    A little over a decade after college and wanting to "brush up" (background reading before plunging into some individual works) I was in search of a good history of philosophy. One can always rely on Fr. Copleston's 11-volume history, but between the demands of job and fatherhood I needed something more manageable -- and after finishing the first volume, I believe I've found it. The first hundred pages present a chronological history of ancient philosophy -- the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Ari A little over a decade after college and wanting to "brush up" (background reading before plunging into some individual works) I was in search of a good history of philosophy. One can always rely on Fr. Copleston's 11-volume history, but between the demands of job and fatherhood I needed something more manageable -- and after finishing the first volume, I believe I've found it. The first hundred pages present a chronological history of ancient philosophy -- the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the various schools thereafter. The remainder of the book is then broken out into more substantial and stimulating treatments of individual subjects: "Logic", "Epistemology", "Physics, "Metaphysics", "Soul and Mind" and "God" which allow for better comparison/contrast of various positions. Reminiscent of reading Roger Scruton, Kenny's personality comes through in his characteristically dry English commentary -- as in the following discussion of Plato's description of the soul in the Phaedrus: "Think of it, he says, as a triad: a charioteer with a pair of horses, one good and one bad, driving towards a heavenly banquet (246b). The good horse strives upwards while the bad horse constantly pulls the chariot downards. The horses are clearly meant to represent the two different parts of the soul, but their exact functions are never made clear. Plato applies his analogy mainly in the course of setting out the lineaments of his ideal philosophical type of homoerotic love. When we reach the point where we have a man and a boy and four horses all in bed together, the metaphor has obviously got quite out of hand. The anatomy of the soul is more soberly described in the Republic. ..." All in all I'm sufficiently motivated to check out the remaining 3 volumes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    I decided to rate each volume independently for practical reasons. This volume has been an illuminating and easy to digest account of ancient philosophy. Sir Anthony Kenny critiques philosophical propositions with sharp wit and diligence.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Parsa

    I know next to no philosophy, so I am not really qualified to write a review. It seems to me that it would be better to start with a history, rather than jumping straight into primary sources. This has a few drawbacks, though : It is probably more boring, and it gives less insight into the philosophical method itself. It is also less lively. Finaly in this book at least, there is quite a lot of interpretation done by the author, which I found to be beneficial for me as a beginner, but more adv I know next to no philosophy, so I am not really qualified to write a review. It seems to me that it would be better to start with a history, rather than jumping straight into primary sources. This has a few drawbacks, though : It is probably more boring, and it gives less insight into the philosophical method itself. It is also less lively. Finaly in this book at least, there is quite a lot of interpretation done by the author, which I found to be beneficial for me as a beginner, but more advanced readers, or those who want to form their own impression upon the primary texts, might find irritating.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maan Kawas

    An excellent read about the history of Ancient Greek philosophy, from Thales to the Hellenistic philosophers, with some interesting information about St. Augustine! The book is well-written and well-organized; and the language is readable! I found the book so informative and enjoyable! I do highly recommend it as a first step before indulging in reading the works of those great philosophers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Hellion

    If a philosopher's importance is measured by the questions he dares to ask then ancient philosophy is a gold mine of inquiries that reflects its golden shadow on the walls of modernity and in the "souls" that still seek understanding. Kenny manages to mine this gold by combining the chronological and the thematic approaches : he starts with a chronological overview then he moves to a thematic discussion of subjects deemed of the most importance. Considering the complexity of the subjects, he does If a philosopher's importance is measured by the questions he dares to ask then ancient philosophy is a gold mine of inquiries that reflects its golden shadow on the walls of modernity and in the "souls" that still seek understanding. Kenny manages to mine this gold by combining the chronological and the thematic approaches : he starts with a chronological overview then he moves to a thematic discussion of subjects deemed of the most importance. Considering the complexity of the subjects, he does a good job explaining, contrasting , criticizing and offering his own learned input. But the broad nature of the matter may require elaboration in other specific sources. Nevertheless , this is a good starting point.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    This is the history of philosophy text I recommend. Kenny is generally more readable than Fr. Copleston and more accurate than Bertrand Russell. He interacts with recent scholarship, and his particular expertise (in this volume, on Aristotelian ethics and philosophical theology) is especially helpful.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    A very well written account of ancient philosophy. It doesn't only give you an account of the philosophers but also an overview of what they wrote about and how these theories related to the writings of other ancient philosophers. I can't wait to read the next volume of this book. A very well written account of ancient philosophy. It doesn't only give you an account of the philosophers but also an overview of what they wrote about and how these theories related to the writings of other ancient philosophers. I can't wait to read the next volume of this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Betawolf

    If you're like me, then you probably have a vague grasp of ancient philosophy. You know of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. You might even recall some of their biography, or tentative outlines of portions of their philosophy from half-remembered reading assignments. You know of Zeno, but mostly just his paradoxes. A moment's thought and you might recall the name of Cicero, or Lucretius, or Democritus, but you might struggle to articulate something specific to associate with them. The obvious remedy t If you're like me, then you probably have a vague grasp of ancient philosophy. You know of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. You might even recall some of their biography, or tentative outlines of portions of their philosophy from half-remembered reading assignments. You know of Zeno, but mostly just his paradoxes. A moment's thought and you might recall the name of Cicero, or Lucretius, or Democritus, but you might struggle to articulate something specific to associate with them. The obvious remedy to the deficit is to read the works of these philosophers. However, these are no easy task. They are voluminous, abstract, often incomprehensible, and sometimes just utterly wrong. Even if you were to attempt it, you'd need some kind of guide to even keep you straight about who goes where, who is worth reading, and what the major pitfalls are in trying to read any translation of the works of ancient philosophers. Anthony Kenny could be that guide. This New History of Western Philosophy is a great idea, so far well executed by an engaging author. There are two major strokes. Firstly, a chronology covering philosophy at a high level from Thales to Augustine, diving into some detail at points to explain the connection between influences and to stress significant developments. This is presented in the first two chapters, from which I extracted the most value. The remaining eight are topical treatments of e.g. logic, ethics, metaphysics, going into more detail about the nuances of arguments put forward by major contributors, accompanied by Kenny's own challenges and clarifications. There were a few examples of the typical problem with philosophical texts -- cases where the author says something obviously is or isn't something else without explanation, where the student is left to frown in puzzlement. Thankfully, these were mostly rare and non-central. The use of a consistent single voice, rather than an assortment of experts with clashing styles and terminology, makes for a smooth and pleasant reading experience, and Kenny's quiet humour is something to be appreciated.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emanuela

    Dopo alcuni libri di storia dell'antica Grecia, sono passata alla filosofia. Ho trovato due corsi su Coursera: 1- Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors 2-Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors Sono organizzati su 9 settimane di studio in tutto, con questionari di comprensione, esercitazioni sui forum e in peer review dei compiti finali. La particolarità è che partono dai frammenti e documenti dei filosofi antichi (che ho cercato in italiano) sui quali poi sono organizzate le lezioni Dopo alcuni libri di storia dell'antica Grecia, sono passata alla filosofia. Ho trovato due corsi su Coursera: 1- Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors 2-Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors Sono organizzati su 9 settimane di studio in tutto, con questionari di comprensione, esercitazioni sui forum e in peer review dei compiti finali. La particolarità è che partono dai frammenti e documenti dei filosofi antichi (che ho cercato in italiano) sui quali poi sono organizzate le lezioni in video, ma con la possibilità multimodale di seguire in testo, che ho copiato su un doc (189 + 218 pagine). Avevo bisogno però di un testo di riferimento, soprattutto per confrontare la terminologia specifica in quanto i due corsi sono in inglese e anche perché, mi piace attingere a fonti diverse. Ho trovato questo di Antony Kenny, che afferma nella presentazione di essere un testo strutturato anche per i non addetti ai lavori. Infatti la lettura è gradevole e, a differenza dei due corsi precedenti, dà una panoramica cronologica iniziale e si sviluppa poi sui specifici temi: La logica, Il sapere e i suoi limiti, La Fisica, La Metafisica, Anima e mente, L'Etica, Dio, dove riprende i diversi pensatori mettendone a confronto le teorie. In realtà le due modalità, corso e libro, si compensano. A volte per quantità di argomentazione (nel primo è dato molto spazio ai presocratici), altre per qualità dell'approfondimento (ad esempio per tutte le tipologie di sillogismi di Aristotele). La scelta di seguire prima il corso e poi leggere il libro è stata funzionale e propedeutica alla struttura reticolare del secondo.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Arttu Malek

    A prominent piece of knowledge for anyone willing to dive into the history of western philosophy and namely its first fathers - the Greeks and Romans. The book covers philosophers from Thales of Miletus up to Saint Augustine and a wide range of schools that were developed between the lives of those two philosophers. Ancient Philosophy has two distinct parts - historical and theoretical. The first part of the book takes on the task to convey general succession of philosophers and development of th A prominent piece of knowledge for anyone willing to dive into the history of western philosophy and namely its first fathers - the Greeks and Romans. The book covers philosophers from Thales of Miletus up to Saint Augustine and a wide range of schools that were developed between the lives of those two philosophers. Ancient Philosophy has two distinct parts - historical and theoretical. The first part of the book takes on the task to convey general succession of philosophers and development of their thought in relation to historical events and their interconnections. The second part is mainly focused on the ideas and is separated into several chapters called, God, Physics, Metaphysics, Ethics, Soul and so on. Here every chapter accumulates the positions of different philosophers of the era on a certain topic, brings them together and shows how they influenced one another and the modern thought. The tone of the book is academic but entertaining enough to ease the immersion into the world of ancient Greece and Rome and the views its inhabitants had. It's the first book of the series and the only I read so far, but I am positive on reading the next volumes because of how great this one is.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anderson Paz

    Nesse primeiro volume, Kenny apresenta a filosofia antiga de Pitágoras até Agostinho de Hipona. A obra é fruto de um projeto de Oxford para desenvolver uma história da filosofia ocidental sob a leitura de um autor. O livro tem nove capítulos dos quais os dois primeiros formam um percurso histórico-cronológico da filosofia antiga, enquanto que dos capítulos três a nove, Kenny divide a filosofia antiga por temas: lógica, epistemologia, física, metafísica, alma e mente, ética e Deus. É uma leitura Nesse primeiro volume, Kenny apresenta a filosofia antiga de Pitágoras até Agostinho de Hipona. A obra é fruto de um projeto de Oxford para desenvolver uma história da filosofia ocidental sob a leitura de um autor. O livro tem nove capítulos dos quais os dois primeiros formam um percurso histórico-cronológico da filosofia antiga, enquanto que dos capítulos três a nove, Kenny divide a filosofia antiga por temas: lógica, epistemologia, física, metafísica, alma e mente, ética e Deus. É uma leitura densa. Um livro a ser lido, relido, e consultado.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hunter McClure

    Rich in content and much preferable in this way to Russell's incredibly awful history, but the writing suffers from unnecessarily formal and somewhat clumsy prose. Rich in content and much preferable in this way to Russell's incredibly awful history, but the writing suffers from unnecessarily formal and somewhat clumsy prose.

  16. 5 out of 5

    AhmetFkErgoktas

    Most of the sentences are hard to follow.You need to have a clear mind if you want to understand subjects.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marts (Thinker)

    This first volume in Kenny's philosophy series highlights the works and ideas of philosophers Thales to Augustine... This first volume in Kenny's philosophy series highlights the works and ideas of philosophers Thales to Augustine...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Parise

    Concise historical introduction to philosophy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Suire

    Clear and thorough guide of ancient philosophy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Goo

    Read most of it -- think I stopped in metaphysics. Will not read the rest, since I fill in the gaps using other books.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Raul Fernández Pérez

    Great starting book on ancient philosophy. Provides both a chronological approach and a thematic-oriented approach. It is palpable throughout the book that Anthony Kenny has important theological interests and knowledge. Nonetheless, this helps in the contextualization of the influence that ancient philosophy in Asia Minor had on the greatest (Western) moral and philosophical framework for centuries to come: Christianity. Even so, the rest of the topics addressed (logic, metaphysics) are done so Great starting book on ancient philosophy. Provides both a chronological approach and a thematic-oriented approach. It is palpable throughout the book that Anthony Kenny has important theological interests and knowledge. Nonetheless, this helps in the contextualization of the influence that ancient philosophy in Asia Minor had on the greatest (Western) moral and philosophical framework for centuries to come: Christianity. Even so, the rest of the topics addressed (logic, metaphysics) are done so with care, neutrally and providing the necessary examples and layman clarification.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Kenny has masterfully crafted a history of philosophy that balances both history and philosophy without overdoing either. Though he does have a few points of contention, this book should satisfy anyone who wants to be introduced to ancient philosophy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Fascinating stuff, though only 3 stars because there was so much, so fast, that it was hard to retain it all.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dilip

    The mankiw of philosophy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Starling

    could have been more in-depth, even for an undergrad/casual audience

  26. 5 out of 5

    Saul

    See Philosophy and Philology nb for notes (pages 24-39, 47-66)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Faisal

    I had a class in Philosophy and I have to read it for that class. I enjoyed reading it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ammara Khan

  29. 4 out of 5

    William Marsolek

  30. 5 out of 5

    Simon

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.