Christian Books, Bibles, Music & More - 1.888.395.0572
Call our Toll Free Number:
Find us on:
Follow Us On 

Twitter!   Join Us On Facebook!

Christian Bookstore .Net is a leading online Christian book store.

Shop Christian Books, Bibles, Jewelry, Church Supplies, Homeschool Curriculum & More!

The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance [Hardcover]

By Anthony Gottlieb (Author)
Our Price $ 23.76  
Retail Value $ 27.95  
You Save $ 4.19  (15%)  
Item Number 158018  
Buy New $23.76
Out Of Stock!
Currently Out Of Stock

Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.64" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.44"
Weight:   1.87 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 31, 2000
Publisher   W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN  0393049515  
EAN  9780393049510  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Outline ReviewWriting a history of more than 2,000 years of philosophy is no mean feat, and writing it in fewer than 500 pages of intelligent but graceful prose is more difficult still. Yet this is just what Anthony Gottlieb accomplishes in The Dream of Reason, which guides the reader from the earliest Greek philosophers to the pre-Cartesian Renaissance. Gottlieb's project is undeniably ambitious, and by necessity it is big-picture philosophy. But it is exactly this big-picture context that is often lamentably absent from other works of this sort. Gottlieb's skill at rendering historical context makes his account both unusually engaging and surprisingly illuminating.

Gottlieb is an admirable guide through the little-understood pre-Socratic philosophers of ancient Greece, giving fair measure to philosophers who are too often simplified or lampooned. His account of Plato and Aristotle is good too, as is his treatment of the later Hellenistic schools, Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Skepticism. Gottlieb's treatment of medieval philosophy, particularly Thomist and Arabic philosophy, is lean, as the author chooses to focus more heavily on antiquity and the modern era (to be continued in a second volume), and the narrative history that bridges the two. Ever enthusiastic, Gottlieb's storytelling voice and character-driven approach make The Dream of Reason compelling reading. It is an ideal book for nonexperts interested in an appealing and informative history of philosophy as well as for students looking for a lucid and comprehensive account of premodern thinkers. --Eric de Place

Product Description
A stunning successor to Bertrand Russell's classic, A History of Western Philosophy. In this landmark new study of Western thought, Anthony Gottlieb approaches philosophy through its primary sources, questions many pieces of conventional wisdom, and explains his findings with unbridled brilliance and clarity. From the pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato, and Aristotle to Renaissance visionaries like Erasmus, "philosophy" emerges here as a phenomenon unconfined by any one discipline. Indeed, as Gottlieb explains, its most revolutionary breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences were quickly co-opted by other branches of knowledge, leading to the illusion that philosophers never make any progress. From the physics of angels to Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, Gottlieb builds through example and anecdote a vivid portrait of the human drive to understanding. After closing The Dream of Reason, readers will be graced with a fresh appreciation of the philosophical quest and its influence on every aspect of life.

Buy The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance by Anthony Gottlieb from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780393049510 & 0393049515

The team at Christian Bookstore .Net welcome you to our Christian Book store! We offer the best selections of Christian Books, Bibles, Christian Music, Inspirational Jewelry and Clothing, Homeschool curriculum, and Church Supplies. We encourage you to purchase your copy of The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance by Anthony Gottlieb today - and if you are for any reason not happy, you have 30 days to return it. Please contact us at 1-877-205-6402 if you have any questions.

More About Anthony Gottlieb

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Anthony Gottlieb is the executive editor of The Economist and writes regularly on philosophy for the New York Times Book Review. He lives in London.

Are You The Artisan or Author behind this product?
Improve our customers experience by registering for an Artisan Biography Center Homepage.

Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Greece > General   [2948  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Greece   [305  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General   [14516  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Greek & Roman   [1043  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History & Surveys   [1194  similar products]

Similar Products

Reviews - What do our customers think?
Does not Deliver on its Grand Title  Apr 2, 2008
I actually find it hard to put a grade on Anthony Gottlieb's "The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance." Gottlieb handles the Greeks in an accessible and witty way. He breathes life into the pre-Socratics and spends an extraordinary amount of time and care in rendering Greek thought. In demonstrating the relevance of the pre-Socratics, Gottlieb pontificates, in effect, that it was wrong to minimize their contributions to philosophy.

Then, Gottlieb in a blink of an eye, minimizes over 1000 years of philosophy. He scoffs at Augustine as if Augustine were a child writing philosophy with a crayon. Anselm and William of Ockham fare no better. Aquinas warrants half a page. Forget about Machiavelli. His treatment was not just one of omission, Gottlieb affirmatively debases everything not Greek in thought.

The hard part comes with deciding the value of "The Dream of Reason." It does have value for its treatment of the Greeks. It does have value in the fact it makes Greek philosophy accessible to the uninitiated. If "The Dream of Reason" only sought to handle the Greeks, it may warrant a 4 or even 5 star review. However, whatever good is achieved in the first 300 or so pages, is completely undone by the injustice Gottlieb does to the other 1000 years of philosophy. You certainly can't call the title of the book a "HISTORY of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance." I get it, Gottlieb does not like philosophy after the Greeks but you cannot call your work a HISTORY if you are unwilling to treat your subject with at least a grudging objectivity.

A Reasonable Dream  Nov 3, 2006
Goodness - a guy makes one little off hand statement about there being "no such thing as philosophy" and he is mercilessly pilloried then dismissed. Some reviews have taken this introductory statement totally out of context then subjected it to the harshest denouncement. Such priggish contempt in the absence of anything vaguely resembling a review makes one wonder if these peeved pedants actually bothered to read the rest of the book after their sensibilities were so egregiously offended.

Wphooo. Now that I have that off my chest - this book's not bad. Mr. Gottlieb is the executive editor of the Economist, not a position one attains without some appreciation for the world of letters. He arrived there as he has said "By accident. I was looking for distractions from academic philosophy." So one might bet he had heard of Socrates a time or two before he sat down to write this book. While the book is a popular history, Mr. Gottlieb states that he worked directly form the original sources, leaving the impression that the interpretations are his.

The book starts in Greece and for the most part stays there, at least intellectually. There is no mention of the Egyptians, the Chinese, Buddha or - Heaven forefend (large wheezing gasp) - the Jewish authors of the Bible. But this is the prejudice of classical liberal philosophy - apes roamed the earth then suddenly an obelisk appeared before Thales of Miletus whereupon he picked up a thought and started bashing people about the head with it. Hey - read the subtitle - "History of philosophy from the Greeks......." Still, the Greeks did not live in a vacuum. Far from it, the very reason for their flowering was their accelerating interaction with other cultures. One cannot believe that all their ideas originated whole and fresh sans cross pollenization from the older cultures around them. Some preamble would have been nice.

Mr. Gottlieb then marches by the various characters (and these were characters - gurus and hippies, not stolid sages) of early Greek philosophy, describing what is and isn't known about them, how much they did or didn't write, how they were received by other thinkers and by the public and how they related to their predecessors. He takes great care to dissect out the important new idea each built on previous work. But he gives short shrift to some who were primarily concerned with nature and observation of the physical world. This is not only the prejudice of classical philosophy, but also almost every tradition of thought in Westendom save the brief interlude from Descartes to Hume and the current scientific age. Philosophy tends to attract navel-ponderers while scientists are out checking out what is really going on. As devoted to Aristotle as Aquinas was he never actually dissected a frog. But check out the title, it ain't "The Dream of Science."

As usual, the highpoint of the book is the discussion of Plato and I must admit as much as I detest "The Republic" Mr. Gottlieb did provide my jaded sensibilities with some new insights. He is quite the Platonic apologist. But after the book revels in Plato, it collapses in confusion in its attempt to deal with Aristotle; again the norm for classical philosophy. Plato's idealistic rationalism set in vivid prose is easy when compared to Aristotle's plodding systematic empiricism and ghastly style. Mr. Gottlieb does not know what to do with him. He intentionally completely skips Aristotle's "Politics," the book that arguably remains as Aristotle's most relevant text. He does discuss with some flattery Aristotle's contribution to biology but then launches into a history of the development of formal logic up to the present day. Once the author recovers from this strange digression, he provides one of the better discussions of the schools that developed around Plato (stoics, epicureans and skeptics). The author is back in his element. This bit is insightful if somewhat meandering and repetitive. And the author does yeoman service in his attempt to elevate Epicurus above the evil of his own eponym. Then, inexplicably, the book dashes off to Middle Ages for a quick denouncement of the Thomist scholastics, once again par for the course.

When organization returns, Mr. Gottlieb retreats to late Rome in an attempt to trace the development of modern rationalism. He gives a much better than average discussion of the Alexandrian scholastics and a fair treatment of a few of the neo-Platonists but steers clear of most of the Fathers of the ascendant Church for fear of penning the errant politically incorrect kind word. There is a dismissive nod to Augustine and yet another breathless exposé of Pseudo-Dionysius.

The book gives an unusually thorough and kind treatment of Albertus Magnus, but I am suspicious that this is just a back handed way of diminishing his student, Aquinas, who is discussed only tersely. The author seems to share the unfortunate but widely held opinion that the Middle Ages were little more 1000 years without a bath. From here, the steady and interesting advance to Descartes is well done and illuminating. The book ends in mid 17th century apparently where Mr. Gottlieb intends to pick up with the next volume - I hope.

The style is light and chatty and the vocabulary is accessible to undergraduates. The author's frequent use of modern metaphor works reasonably well for the weirdoes of ancient Greece but wares thin with later, more serious thinkers.

A. N. Whitehead remarked that all philosophy is a commentary on Plato. Mr. Gottlieb definitely takes that statement to heart, dismissing much that I think essential - but nothing of Plato. Nevertheless, no one can enter philosophy without prejudice and preference, and no one can take it all in - much less describe it all. Mr. Gottlieb's is a reasonable attempt. In saying that there is "no such thing as philosophy", I think what he was really trying to point out is that there is no such thing as a philosopher, only men and women asking profound questions about life then searching for the answers. He has varying but mostly good success examining the people, the questions and the answers.
Easy reading; pithy style.  Jun 23, 2004
This easy-to-read book, which paints the history of pre-modern philosophy in broad strokes, makes up for the lack of detail by giving us a nicely integrated panoramic view. It has been said that all of modern philosophy is little more than footnotes to Plato, Aristotle, the Sophists and the Skeptics. There is some truth in that; in any case, this book reminds the reader of the ubiquitous contribution of the ancients to the philosophical construction of the modern world.

The author's style includes plenty of pithy remarks, often amusing images and clever phrases that - had he been a political speech writer - might have become more widely known quotable sound bights. I found it an enjoyable read, and strongly recommend it for the reader looking for a good introduction.
Great Education and Very Readable  Feb 1, 2003
I cannot imagine studying philosophy. It seems to be such a complex subject that any meaningful study would require intense interest and devotion. Well, not everyone has that ability. For us lazy folk, this book is a great asset. Actually, that designation degrades the quality of this book. While it is true that this book is a great read for anyone, it also offers an extremely intelligent look at the 2,600 history of Western thought from the early Greeks to the Renaissance. The amount of knowledge that I took in from this book is really impressive, just an amazing amount of important education within 440 pages. What makes this brilliant little book even better is the skill and wit of its writer, Anthony Gottlieb. The Dream of Reason is far from a dry, slow tome of historical abstract thinking, it is a very entertaining and readable story of history.

People living in the present always take for granted the world around them. Natural processes are so passé now that hardly anyone thinks about how objects break down atomically, or what makes the Sun burn. We feel we have such control over the world that knowledge of it is really meaningless. 2,600 years ago, the world around man was almost totally unknown to humans. The environment was unpredictable and could often bring about devastating destruction. The stars and the planets defied any explanation that ancient man had to offer. To end this mystery, educated men developed extremely different theories in order to explain simple things, such as what the Earth was made up of or how life began. The development of thinking is so interesting to watch, as people devoid of modern instruments struggled to grasp the mysteries of the natural world. All of these men are written of with great reverence and honesty. Many who are thought to be great pioneers in scientist are taken down a peg by Gottlieb?s extensive research. Others benefit from Gottlieb?s fair and educational descriptions.

The historical process gets even more interesting as thinkers, somewhat tired of the distant enigmas of the Earth, began to concentrate on the state of man. This included many different fields, including religion, politics, and medical science. It quickly became clear to me that no matter how strange the Earth seems, man himself is probably the greatest mystery historical philosophers have had to tackle. Gottlieb methodically describes the development of these ideas, taking the right amount of time to explain extremely complex problems in plain understandable English. I found Gottlieb?s look at Plato?s Republic to be one of the most interesting chapters I have ever read.

This book is perfect for newcomers or serious students of philosophies. An informative and fun read.

If You Snoozed through Philosophy 101....  May 29, 2002
"The Dream of Reason" is a great book for stimulating the memory banks or making up for lost time with one of those subjects that you really ought to be able answer Jeopardy questions about. Journalist Anthony Gottlieb presents a concise and vivid history of western philosophy from the Greeks to Renaissance in this meaty and managable volume. Fully employing the journalist's gifts for the illuminating detail and the efficient description, Gottlieb provides a brisk and interesting outline of central ideas, personalities and events in the history of philosophical thought. Working at deeper level, Gottlieb presents a broad view of "philosophy" as essentially the determinedly inquistive cast of mind. All in all, a solid book that leaves you feeling smarter.

Write your own review about The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance

Customer Support: 1-888-395-0572
Welcome to Christian Bookstore .Net

Our team at Christian Bookstore .Net would like to welcome you to our site. Our Christian book store features over 150,000 Christian products including Bibles, Christian music, Christian books, jewelry, church supplies, Christian gifts, Sunday school curriculum, purity rings, homeschool curriculum and many other items to encourage you in your walk with God. Our mission is to provide you with quality Christian resources that you can benefit from and share with others. The best part is that our complete selection of Christian books and supplies is offered at up to 20% off of retail price! Please call us if you have any questions or need assistance in ordering at 1-888-395-0572. Have a blessed day.

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Customer Support