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A LITTLE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
N I G E L WA R B U R T O N A LITTLE HISTORY of PHILOSOPHY YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS NEW HAVEN AND LONDON
Copyright © 2011 Nigel Warburton All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press) without written permission from the publishers. For information about this and other Yale University Press publications, please contact: U.S. Office: [email protected]     Europe Office: sales @yaleup.co.uk     Set in Minion Pro by IDSUK (DataConnection) Ltd Printed in Great Britain by TJ International Ltd, Padstow, Cornwall Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Warburton, Nigel, 1962– A little history of philosophy/Nigel Warburton. p. cm ISBN 978–0–300–15208–1 (cl:alk. paper) 1. Philosophy—History. 2. Philosophers. I. Title. B72.W365 2011 190—dc22 2011013537 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. 10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
Contents 1 The Man Who Asked Questions 1 Socrates and Plato 2 True Happiness 9 Aristotle 3 We Know Nothing 15 Pyrrho 4 The Garden Path 22 Epicurus 5 Learning Not to Care 28 Epictetus, Cicero, Seneca 6 Who Is Pulling Our Strings? 34 Augustine 7 The Consolation of Philosophy 40 Boethius 8 The Perfect Island 46 Anselm and Aquinas
vi contents 9 The Fox and the Lion 51 Niccolò Machiavelli 10 Nasty, Brutish, and Short 57 Thomas Hobbes 11 Could You Be Dreaming? 62 René Descartes 12 Place Your Bets 69 Blaise Pascal 13 The Lens Grinder 76 Baruch Spinoza 14 The Prince and the Cobbler 81 John Locke and Thomas Reid 15 The Elephant in the Room 87 George Berkeley (and John Locke) 16 The Best of All Possible Worlds? 93 Voltaire and Gottfried Leibniz 17 The Imaginary Watchmaker 99 David Hume 18 Born Free 105 Jean-Jacques Rousseau 19 Rose-Tinted Reality 110 Immanuel Kant (1) 20 What if Everyone Did That? 115 Immanuel Kant (2) 21 Practical Bliss 121 Jeremy Bentham
contents vii 22 The Owl of Minerva 126 Georg W.F. Hegel 23 Glimpses of Reality 132 Arthur Schopenhauer 24 Space to Grow 138 John Stuart Mill 25 Unintelligent Design 145 Charles Darwin 26 Life’s Sacrifices 152 Søren Kierkegaard 27 Workers of the World Unite 158 Karl Marx 28 So What? 164 C.S. Peirce and William James 29 The Death of God 171 Friedrich Nietzsche 30 Thoughts in Disguise 176 Sigmund Freud 31 Is the Present King of France Bald? 183 Bertrand Russell 32 Boo!/Hooray! 190 A.J. Ayer 33 The Anguish of Freedom 196 Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus
viii contents 34 Bewitched by Language 202 Ludwig Wittgenstein 35 The Man Who Didn’t Ask Questions 208 Hannah Arendt 36 Learning from Mistakes 214 Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn 37 The Runaway Train and the Unwanted Violinist 222 Philippa Foot and Judith Jarvis Thomson 38 Fairness Through Ignorance 228 John Rawls 39 Can Computers Think? 234 Alan Turing and John Searle 40 A Modern Gadfly 239 Peter Singer Index 246
About 2,400 years ago in Athens a man was put to death for asking too many questions. There were philosophers before him, but it was with Socrates that the subject really took off. If

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