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Synopsis

Sir Anthony Kenny tells the fascinating story of the development of philosophy in the modern world, from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. Alongside (and intertwined with) extraordinary scientific advances, cultural changes, and political upheavals, the last two centuries have seen some of the most intriguing and original developments in philosophical thinking, which have transformed our understanding of ourselves and our world. In the first part of the book Kenny offers a lively narrative introducing the major thinkers in their historical context. He then proceeds to guide the reader lucidly through the nine main areas of philosophical work in the period, offering a serious engagement with the ideas and arguments. Among those we meet are the great figures of continental European philosophy, from Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche to Heidegger and Sartre; the Pragmatists who first developed a distinctively American philosophical tradition; Marx, Darwin, and Freud, the non-philosophers whose influence on philosophy was immense; Wittgenstein and Russell, friends and colleagues who set the agenda for analytic philosophy in the twentieth century. Philosophy in the Modern World brings to completion Kenny's magisterial New History of Western Philosophy. The four volumes have been designed to dovetail with each other: they offer a unified overview of the entire development of philosophy, allowing readers to trace themes through the centuries, from antiquity to the present day. The story is illuminated by a selection of intriguing and beautiful illustrations.

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