A. C. Grayling

The History of Philosophy
  • The History of Philosophy

    • A. C. Grayling

    'Updating Bertrand Russell for the 21st century . . . a cerebrally enjoyable survey, written with great clarity and touches of wit . . . The non-western section throws up some fascinating revelations'
    Sunday Times

    The story of philosophy is an epic tale: an exploration of the ideas, views and teachings of some of the most creative minds known to humanity. But since the long-popular classic Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy, first published in 1945, there has been no comprehensive and entertaining, single-volume history of this great intellectual journey.

    With his characteristic clarity and elegance A. C. Grayling takes the reader from the world-views and moralities before the age of the Buddha, Confucius and Socrates, through Christianity's dominance of the European mind to the Renaissance and Enlightenment, and on to Mill, Nietzsche, Sartre, and philosophy today. And, since the story of philosophy is incomplete without mention of the great philosophical traditions of India, China and the Persian-Arabic world, he gives a comparative survey of them too.

    Intelligible for students and eye-opening for philosophy readers, he covers epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, political philosophy and the history of debates in these areas of enquiry, through the ideas of the celebrated philosophers as well as less well-known influential thinkers. He also asks what we have learnt from this body of thought, and what progress is still to be made.

    The first authoritative and accessible single-volume history of philosophy for decades, remarkable for its range and clarity, this is a landmark work.

Professor A. C. Grayling is Master of the New College of the Humanities, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford. He has written and edited over thirty books on philosophy and other subjects, and has written on non-Western philosophy. For several years he wrote columns for the Guardian newspaper and The Times and was the chairman of the 2014 Man Booker Prize.