BOOKS ON PHILOSOPHY
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RUSSELL, Bertrand (Bertrand Arthur William, Third Earl Russell), 1872-1970 : HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY AND ITS CONNECTION WITH POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY.
London : George Allen & Unwin, (1946). First British edition. A fluent, witty, elegant, and sweeping survey of the philosophic tradition, treated as much as social and cultural history as in terms of pure philosophy – the Pre-Socratics; Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; the Cynics, Sceptics, Stoics, and Epicureans; Jewish, Mohammedan, and Catholic scholars; and the modern tradition – Machiavelli, Erasmus and More, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Byron, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marx, Bergson, William James, Dewey, etc. “I was sometimes accused by reviewers of writing not a true history but a biased account of the events that I arbitrarily chose to write of. But, to my mind, a man without bias cannot write interesting history – if, indeed, such a man exists” (Bertrand Russell).
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SELDEN, John, 1584-1654 : THE TABLE-TALK OF JOHN SELDEN ESQ.
London : William Pickering, 1847. First Pickering edition. “The not distinguishing where things should be distinguished, and the not confounding, where things should be confounded, is the cause of all the mistakes in the world” and other majestic thinking from the “glory of the English nation”, the jurist and scholar John Selden. Collections of Selden’s table-talk had appeared since the seventeenth century, but are here introduced by a long “biographical preface” from Samuel Weller Singer (1783-1858) – “There are few volumes of its size so pregnant with sense, combined with the most profound learning; it is impossible to open it without finding some important fact ... something practically useful and applicable to the business of life”. Printed by Charles Whittingham at Chiswick.
WITTGENSTEIN, Ludwig (Ludwig Josef Johnann), 1889-1951 : PHILOSOPHISCHE UNTERSUCHUNGEN = PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS.
Oxford : Basil Blackwell, 1953. First edition. Parallel German and English texts of perhaps the most important work of philosophy of the twentieth century and a turning point in the study of language, meaning and semantics. “The most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived” (Bertrand Russell). Although the bulk of the work had been ready for publication some years earlier, it was completed from the manuscripts, edited and published posthumously by Elizabeth Anscombe (1919-2001) – also responsible for the translation – and Rush Rhees (1905-1989).
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