The word “philosophy” literally means” love of wisdom. In a broad sense, philosophy is the activity that people engage in when they seek to understand basic truths about themselves, the world they live in, and their relationship to the world and to each other.
The same is true of philosophy as a discipline. Those who study philosophy continue to ask, answer, and argue for answers to life’s most fundamental questions. To make this pursuit more systematic, philosophy as a discipline has traditionally been divided into major fields of study.
About the Book
This is the conclusion of Sir Anthony Kenny’s monumental four-volume history of philosophy. Kenny here provides a fascinating account of the development of philosophy in the modern world from the early nineteenth century to the end of the millennium. Parallel to (and intertwined with) tremendous scientific advances, cultural changes, and political upheavals, the last two centuries have seen some of the most interesting and original developments in philosophical thought, transforming our understanding of ourselves and our world.
In the first half of the book, Kenny introduces the major thinkers in a lively narrative, setting the min their historical context. These include the great figures of continental European philosophy, from Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche to Heidegger, Sartre, and Derrida; pragmatists such as C.S. Pierce and William James, who first established a uniquely American philosophical tradition; non-philosophers who have had a profound influence on philosophy, such as Marx and included Marx, Darwin, and Freud, as well as his friends and colleagues Wittgenstein and Russell, who set the agenda for analytic philosophy in the 20th century.
Kenny lucidly guides the reader through the nine major areas of philosophy of the period, taking seriously ideas and arguments about logic, linguistics, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, political science, and the existence of God.
Accompanied by many beautiful illustrations, Philosophy of the Modern World concludes Kenny’s exciting history of the intellectual development of Western civilization, allowing the reader to trace the birth and growth of philosophy from ancient times to the present.