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Death and Life of Philosophy [Hardcover]

By Robert Greene (Author)
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Item description for Death and Life of Philosophy by Robert Greene...

For almost the entire twentieth century, the discipline of philosophy has been in a quandary in attempting to identify and define its proper role in the contemporary world. During the past twenty-five years, it has fallen on bad days in academe, often reduced to overly technical ramblings or postmodernist rants. Its demise has been predicted, if not reported, for years.

Finally, in this provocative and controversial book, Robert Greene does the dirty deed and puts philosophy out of its misery, issuing a coup de grace to the current ill-conceived, skeptical discipline. But then he breathes life into the great interdisciplinary tradition of philosophers, freeing them from the straitjacket of the mind-body dualism and "the problem of knowledge".

The heart of the book is a long chapter and two appendices expounding the brilliance of Aristotle on language, the soul, and mind..

The Death and Life of Philosophy not only presents the great thinkers of the past in a new light, but also satirizes the philosophy professors of today, putting their work and even their aims into perspective in a highly readable and engaging manner.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: St. Augustines Press
Pages   318
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 15, 1999
Publisher   St. Augustines Press
ISBN  1890318191  
ISBN13  9781890318192  


Availability  0 units.


More About Robert Greene


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Greene has worked in Hollywood writing and developing stories for film and television

Robert Greene currently resides in Santa Monica, in the state of California.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Philosophy > History & Surveys
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History & Surveys



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Reviews - What do customers think about Death and Life of Philosophy?

Thought Provoking Even for Non-academians  Apr 19, 2002
Just the title of Robert Greene's book, "The Death and Life of Philosophy" caught my interest! As a business student in college in the late 1960's I was exposed to only two basic philosophy courses. Although they interested me greatly, I have had little contact with anything related to the field since then.
Now with the demands of career and family waning I find more time to read. I am thrilled that I found Mr Greene's book at this time in my life. I found "The Death and Life of Philosophy" to be both fascinating and thought provoking. It has rekindled my earlier interest in the subject and has led me to search out other related books to enjoy.
Clearly written and easy to understand, I would highly recommend Mr. Greene's book to any non-academians who, like myself, have an interest in expanding their intellectual life.
 
To redeem philosophy  Mar 11, 2002
To Redeem Philosophy

Robert Greene has written a highly unique and admirably readable book, which accomplishes three main tasks. These are to: 1. give a summary of western philosophy from Plato to the present, 2. describe the sorry state of modern philosophy, particularly in the academic arena, and 3. to show how this situation might be redeemed.

The book itself is divided into two parts. The first, called "The Death of Philosophy", consists of three chapters:
Attempts to Define the Discipline
A Brief History of Philosophy
The Breakup of Philosophy
which aptly describe their contents. This part of the book is very accessible and even entertaining as it contains some personal recollections of the author. The second part, consisting of seven chapters, is more challenging reading and has as its centerpiece the extended chapter, Putting Mind Back into Nature with the Aid of Aristotle. The ideas presented here are fundamental, and in no way utilitarian.

I am generally well educated, but not especially trained or widely read in philosophy; still I can recommend this book to others like myself, who may be curious about philosophy or wish to review what one has studied long ago. In fact, it is so approachable that even if you do not care about the state of philosophy in academia or even that much about Aristotle, it is well worth reading. Greene's summary of the history of ideas is so lucid that that the book succeeds on this alone. The personal anecdotes illustrate, but also serve to set this apart from encyclopedia articles on Western Civilization. The potential readership for this volume is wider than one might at first surmise.

 
To Redeem Philosophy  Mar 9, 2002
To Redeem Philosophy

Robert Greene has written a highly unique and admirably readable book, which accomplishes three main tasks. These are to: 1. give a summary of western philosophy from Plato to the present, 2. describe the sorry state of modern philosophy, particularly in the academic arena, and 3. to show how this situation might be redeemed.

The book itself is divided into two parts. The first, called "The Death of Philosophy", consists of three chapters:
Attempts to Define the Discipline
A Brief History of Philosophy
The Breakup of Philosophy
which aptly describe their contents. This part of the book is very accessible and even entertaining as it contains some personal recollections of the author. The second part, consisting of seven chapters, is more challenging reading and has as its centerpiece the extended chapter, Putting Mind Back into Nature with the Aid of Aristotle. The ideas presented here are fundamental, and in no way merely utilitarian.

I am generally well educated, but not especially trained or widely read in philosophy; still I can recommend this book to others like myself, who may be curious about philosophy or wish to review what one has studied long ago. In fact, it is so approachable that even if you do not care about the state of philosophy in academia or even that much about Aristotle, it is well worth reading. Greene's summary of the history of ideas is so lucid that that the book succeeds on this alone. The personal anecdotes illustrate, but also serve to set this apart from encyclopedia articles on Western Civilization. The potential readership for this volume is wider than one might at first surmise.

 
not worth reading my review  Aug 12, 2001
I didn't finish it. I read the first two chapters and decided there were better things for me to be reading.

I agree with his basic thesis, the contemporary academic philosophy scene has little to do with its supposed historic roots. I am relieved to hear that many contemporary professors of philosophy refer to themselves as "professional philosophers"-apparently both to distinguish themselves from New Age shamanists and to identify their true lineage beginning with those philodoxers once called Sophists.

My problem with the work arises from Greene's utilitarian approach to philosophy. In the first chapter he quote's one of his teachers, John Herman Randall Jr., in describing philosophy as a sometimes wh*re to other disciplines and regions of concern, nationalist politics for instance. Greene promptly begins to evaluate the health of "philosophy" during a given historical period by its ability to unify the disciplines and present a coherent world view. I'm afraid Mr. Greene comes off as a lover of paradigm rather than wisdom or truth. He even seems to pity Plato for being unable to develop his "theory" of ideas into a system- as if Plato were some nineteenth century German professor of a field of inquiry called "philosophy". This approach only serves to, once again, relegate philosophy to the role of, ahem, hand maiden.

If the utilitarian/Enlightenment approach to knowledge (Greene even translates love of wisdom into the pursuit of wisdom, or science, completely losing the erotic element of the soul existing in the philosophic form) suits your tastes read Durant's _Story of Philosophy_. Durant has the merit of wit, a vice that excuses all others.

PS If you feel I've wrongfully abused Greene without giving him a fair chance please help draw me from error to wisdom, or at least right opinion.

 
Classroom use of THE DEATH AND LIFE OF PHILOSOPHY  Mar 9, 2000
I have used Robert Greene's THE DEATH AND LIFE OF PHILOSOPHY to provide an overview of philosophy for students in an introductory philosophy course. Greene is a very skilled writer and knowledgeable scholar who explains the ideas of major philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, and Hume with insight and humor. While some students may find the text demanding, it should inspire them to delve more deeply into the subject matter than they would otherwise have been inclined.

Not all readers will accept Greene's call for a return to a more Aristotelian perspective, but his presentation of his case for Aristotle gives the book an elegant unity.

Several of my students have commented favorably on the book. One said that, once she started reading it, she could not put it down. Her comment is consistent with my own impression of the work.

 

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