Histories of Philosophy

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chaz wyman
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by chaz wyman » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:57 am

Rortabend wrote:So French philosophy didn't begin until after after 1945? Brilliant.

You can't get over your ignorance by pretending that I said something I did not.




chaz wyman
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by chaz wyman » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:59 am

Impenitent wrote:Cogito ergo... oh never mind, it will not matter for over 300 years...

-Imp
Descartes was crap then, is crap now, and will continue to be crap.
Russell gave him as much attention as he deserves in a book of that size titled as it is.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by Arising_uk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:39 pm

chaz wyman wrote:...
Descartes was crap then, is crap now, and will continue to be crap.
Russell gave him as much attention as he deserves in a book of that size titled as it is.
Oh! Come on! Have you read him? He's up there with Locke and Hume in philosophical comparisons and you can't easily disagree with those who also invent a method in mathematics as well. Its why I think Leibniz will be revisited, mad as hatters these ones. :)

chaz wyman
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by chaz wyman » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:13 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
chaz wyman wrote:...
Descartes was crap then, is crap now, and will continue to be crap.
Russell gave him as much attention as he deserves in a book of that size titled as it is.
Oh! Come on! Have you read him? He's up there with Locke and Hume in philosophical comparisons and you can't easily disagree with those who also invent a method in mathematics as well. Its why I think Leibniz will be revisited, mad as hatters these ones. :)

Yes, I have read him. He starts with a second hand "proof" of the existence of God and its all downhill from there.
But as for the amount of time Russell devoted to him, considering he begins with the pre-socratics in a book 800 pages long - Russell gets him about right.

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Rortabend
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by Rortabend » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:57 am

"He did it to make money, he wrote it fast. Bertrand Russell was a great philosopher but a terrible historian." – Edward Pols, Professor of Philosophy and William J. Kenan Professor of the Humanities, Bowdoin College

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Rortabend
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by Rortabend » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:04 am

"A History of Western Philosophy errs consistently in this respect. Its author never seems to be able to make up his mind whether he is writing history or polemic.... [Its method] confers on philosophers who are dead and gone a kind of false contemporaneity which may make them seem important to the uninitiate. But nevertheless it is a misreading of history." – George Boas

chaz wyman
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:29 am

Three opinions do not a fact make.

But lets look in detail.
George Boas - who is he exactly? A hack professor of philosphy whose original contribution to philosophy is ??? NIL.
Pols and Kenan - much the same.

"A History of Western Philosophy errs consistently in this respect." - in what respect? out of context remarks are not very useful.
The rest of their objection seems to be about the 20thC obsession among historians with historical context- which is a false plea for a dead objectivism which is simply not in their practical grasp. Russell was being honest and offering a look at philosophies of the past that might have some continuing use, asking are they relevant to today.

As for Pols and Kenan. Every published book is written to make money - I do not see that as an objection.
It was "written fast" - is a falsehood. Russell wrote many books (90+), and many of them were written fast, this one was not written as fast as most.

But let's review the opinion you are trying to support...
You said;"Russell's history is annoyingly biased. The chapter on American pragmatism is far too short and gets everything wrong. His treatment of 20th century French philosophy is risible. To call it whiggish is something of an understatement. Having said this, he is a very good writer and I'd rather read Russell getting things wrong than a lot of other people getting things right!"

Neither of these quotes supports your objections in any way. Not only do you castigate Russell for expressing an opinion, calling it bias, as if that were a crime, you exaggerate and say that he gets "everything wrong." Allow me to quote at random "Nietzsche regarded himself as the successor to Schopenhauer". p728; "Spinoza derived his political theory,mainly from Hobbes." p553; "To understand Plato it is necessary to understand something of Sparta." p 112. 3 things that are not wrong, there are many more.

But what really pissed me off is that you castigate me for saying there was little to write about from "20thC French philosophy", and then attack me because of Russell's light treatment of Descartes - How idiotic and moronic of you!!
From then on you attack me with a stream of abuse.
I'm not trying to pretend that Russell has written a great book - but given the span of his scope (pre-socratics to 1945), and the length of the book he makes a fair fist of it. Better than some others. He he makes omissions then you have to expect that. But you can hardly castigate he for not mentioning "20thC French philosophy" whatever than is, in a book of this length.
I also suggest that if you read the whole book - and not just cherry pick, or dip in to find problems - you will find that what emerges is a grand narrative of Russell's understanding of the progress of Western Thought from its earliest beginnings, and an insight into his own contribution to Philosophy. Yes it is thankfully "whiggish" (- though I doubt you know what that means). And he thankfully avoids a phoney contextualised pseudo-objective historicism which would be irrelevant and meaningless- as so many such histories are.

You need to get a grip.

chaz wyman
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:19 pm

[quote="Rortabend"]So French philosophy didn't begin until after after 1945? Brilliant.

Let me know all about the contribution of French Philosophy of the "20thC" (your words). That Russell should have included.

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Rortabend
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by Rortabend » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:31 pm

You need to improve your reading skills Chaz...
Not only do you castigate Russell for expressing an opinion, calling it bias, as if that were a crime, you exaggerate and say that he gets "everything wrong."
I didn't castigate Russell for expressing an opinion, I castigated him for being a bad historian. Further, my claim was that he gets "everything wrong" about American pragmatism not that he gets everything wrong about philosophy. You are very keen to criticise people quoting things out of context and then do precisely the same thing youself!
But what really pissed me off is that you castigate me for saying there was little to write about from "20thC French philosophy", and then attack me because of Russell's light treatment of Descartes - How idiotic and moronic of you!!
It was somebody else that 'attacked' you because of Russell's light treatment of Descartes. I didn't mention Descartes at all. Go back and check if you don't believe me.
From then on you attack me with a stream of abuse.
I have never been abusive toward you. Although given your language and behaviour in other threads this is a rather strange criticism. Pot/kettle?
I also suggest that if you read the whole book - and not just cherry pick, or dip in to find problems - you will find that what emerges is a grand narrative of Russell's understanding of the progress of Western Thought from its earliest beginnings, and an insight into his own contribution to Philosophy. Yes it is thankfully "whiggish" (- though I doubt you know what that means). And he thankfully avoids a phoney contextualised pseudo-objective historicism which would be irrelevant and meaningless- as so many such histories are.
You do this all the time in this forum. You arrogantly assume that you know more than everybody else on here. How could you possibly know that I haven't read the whole book? You also doubt that I know what "whiggish" means even though I have clearly demonstrated an understanding of its meaning.

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Rortabend
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by Rortabend » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:32 pm

"A precious book ... a work that is in the highest degree pedagogical which stands above the conflicts of parties and opinions." – Albert Einstein

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Rortabend
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by Rortabend » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:33 pm

"Parts of this famous book are sketchy ... in other respects it is a marvelously readable, magnificently sweeping survey of Western thought, distinctive for placing it informatively into its historical context. Russell enjoyed writing it, and the enjoyment shows; his later remarks about it equally show that he was conscious of its shortcomings." – A. C. Grayling

Theleman
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Re: Histories of Philosophy

Post by Theleman » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:48 pm

Copleston's 11 volume is great but takes forever to read them all.

D. W. Hamlyn's Ä History of Western Philosophy" from Pelican paperback covers the whole lot in just over 300 pages.
Then move to Russell's and Kenny's could be idea?

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