|Publication Date: 19 Oct 2017|
|Series: Very Brief Histories|
|Publisher: SPCK Publishing|
|Page Count: 144|
|Author: Anthony Kenny|
|ISBN-13: 9780281076437, 9780281076444|
Montesquieu, Hume, Voltaire, Diderot, Smith, Gibbon, Bentham . . . These are among the great thinkers who contributed to the dramatic developments in religion, science and philosophy that we now call the Enlightenment. They dominated the second half of the eighteenth century and their writings continue to shape the intellectual and political worlds we now inhabit.
Written by a world authority, this brief history of the Enlightenment concludes with a perceptive assessment of the cultural, religious, ethical and political dimensions of its legacy.
‘A remarkable short tour of the Enlightenment that is brisk but never hurried, covering more than seems possible. Kenny is as spirited and opinionated as the age he describes, tempered by a moderation and breadth of knowledge that comes from experience and hindsight.’
Julian Baggini, founder editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine
The author not only has a remarkable grasp of the broad sweep of philosophical ideas, but is also an authority in his own right. The fluency and elegance of the writing, and the sensitivity to cultural and historical context, together with the eminence of the author, will ensure a wide international readership.
The book's great merit is its lucidity and approachability, and it probably does convey some of the excitement which Kenny claims belongs to the subject."
This is simply a jolly good read, with pithy historical and biographical scene–setters, authoritative accounts of how successive philosophers have contributed to the development of Western thought, and often brilliant single–sentence summaries.
A Brief History of Western Philosophy is a stimulating, impressive work by one of Britain's leading philosophers. It is valuable both as an introduction to the history of ideas as well as a record of a distinguished philosopher's mature reflections...It is a richly detailed, critical look at philosophy, displaying both Kenny's love for philosophical engagement and for good history...Kenny's style is unpretentious, effective, and at times wonderfully informal and amiable.
As a very short introduction to a vast topic, The Enlightenment works a treat, thanks to the author’s flair for marshalling all he knows into succinct, lucid, eloquent prose.