A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein

A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein

A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein

A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein

Synopsis

Discover for yourself the pleasures of philosophy! Written both for the seasoned student of philosophy as well as the general reader, the renowned writer Roger Scruton provides a survey of modern philosophy. Always engaging, Scruton takes us on a fascinating tour of the subject, from founding father Descartes to the most important and famous philosopher of the twentieth century, Ludwig Wittgenstein. He identifies all the principal figures as well as outlines of the main intellectual preoccupations that have informed western philosophy. Painting a portrait of modern philosophy that is vivid and animated, Scruton introduces us to some of the greatest philosophical problems invented in this period and pursued ever since. Including material on recent debates, A Short History of Modern Philosophy is already established as the classic introduction. Read it and find out why.

Excerpt

This book provides a synthetic vision of the history of modern philosophy, from an analytical perspective. It is necessarily selective, but I hope that I have identified the principal figures, and the principal intellectual preoccupations, that have formed Western philosophy since Descartes. It is, I believe, fruitful to approach these matters from the standpoint of analytical philosophy, which in recent years has become interested in the history which it had ignored for so long, and has sought to re-establish its connections with the Western intellectual tradition. Areas which were of the greatest concern to historical philosophers-aesthetics, politics, theology, the theory of the emotions-had been for some years ill-served in English and American writings; moreover, an increasing narrowness of vision, an obsession with technique and competence, had tended to replace that broad sensitivity to the human condition which is the traditional attribute of the speculative philosopher. The renewed interest in philosophical history promises to remedy those defects, and already fields such as aesthetics and political philosophy are beginning to appear, if not central, at least not wholly marginal, to a mature philosophical understanding.

I discuss analytical philosophy through the imaginative thought of its greatest exponent, Wittgenstein, and I have been obliged to pass over the many interesting, but perhaps overrated, achievements of the

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