The book does not re-print very much of the original works, rather it provides an encyclopaedia style entry which summarises the key points raised by the major thinkers in world history and their significance for 21st century philosophy. It is a perfect reading companion for those delving into original works and expert analysis.
The book can be judged on its summary of the works of Nietzsche – a famously complicated and fanatical thinker whose allegorical works use imagery specific to Frederich himself thus making the thinker a line of study in his own right. Will Buckingham does an heroic job of summarizing the complex line of reasoning in Nietzche’s work and explaining the main points to the reader.
As a starting point for the study of philosophy “The Philosophy Book” is an invaluable resource, not only for beginners, but right up to degree and graduate level. From the ancient world, through the Renaissance, Medieval period, right up to contemporary thought, this well ordered tome from Dorling Kindersley provides a useful clarity for an area of study which can quickly reach unmanageable depths.
Contributors to the Book
- Will Buckingham is a philosopher, novelist, and lecturer who is particularly interested in the interplay of philosophy and narrative. He currently teaches at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, and has written several books, including Finding our Sea-Legs: Ethics, Experience and the Ocean of Stories.
- Douglas Burnham is a professor of philosophy at Staffordshire University, and the author of many books and articles on modern and recent European philosophy.
- Clive Hill is a lecturer in political theory and British history, with a particular interest in the role of the intellectual in the modern world.
- Peter J. King is a doctor of philosophy who lectures at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, and is the author of the recent book One Hundred Philosophers: A Guide to the World’s Greatest Thinkers.
- John Marenbon is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, who studies and writes on medieval philosophy. His books include Early Medieval Philosophy 480–1150: An Introduction.
- Marcus Weeks is a writer and musician. He studied philosophy and worked as a teacher before embarking on a career as an author. He has contributed to many books on the arts and popular sciences.