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Ten Philosophies that Shook the World: An Economical Introduction to PhilosophyEdited with an Introduction by Larry Udell
    Print $46.95 $36.95

Ten Philosophies that Shook the World

An Economical Introduction to Philosophy
Edited with an Introduction by Larry Udell

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60927-088-9, 240 pages


The anthology Ten Philosophies That Shook the World: An Economical Introduction to Philosophy allows some of the greatest philosophers, ancient and modern, to speak for themselves and directly to students through their own writings.

Based on John Rawls’s thesis that an appreciation of a philosopher requires that “the text must be respected,” these passages are largely unedited, giving students deeper exposure to the ideas and perspectives of such canonical figures as Plato, Aristotle, and Descartes. Introductory passages and prefaces written by the authors enhance understanding of the original intent of each philosopher.

The book begins with two brief selections that provide insight into the value of philosophical ideas, and address how best to read and understand the readings. That material that follows introduces students to nine of the greatest philosophers, beginning with Plato, who represents both his own views and those of Socrates, and ending with John Stuart Mill, and his seminal On Liberty. The organization of the book is chronological, allowing students to embark on a journey of philosophical time travel accompanied by the greats including Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Marx and Engels.

Of special note is the inclusion of an excerpt from Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Philosophers have come to recognize Smith’s importance not just as an economist, but as a bridge between John Locke on one hand, and Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill on the other, and the influence of his philosophy on society at large is nowadays indisputable. Although Smith is rarely included in introductory philosophy anthologies, many instructors will find this selection to be a welcome addition to their courses.

Clear and concise, Ten Philosophies that Shook the World, is an excellent reader for introductory philosophy classes, or courses on ancient and modern philosophy. The material is sufficient for a one semester course, and instructors can add a missing favorite while still keeping the cost of course materials very reasonable.

Larry Udell will donate a portion of his proceeds from every book sold to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which Cognella, Inc. will match.

Larry Udell teaches philosophy at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. His research is primarily in social and political philosophy and the philosophy of economics, and his recent work focuses on theories of justice in the philosophies of John Rawls and Karl Marx. His teaching and research have a strong historical bent, an approach inspired by John Rawls in philosophy and by Joseph Schumpeter and Joan Robinson in economics. He regularly teaches an Introduction to Philosophy which, while it varies in style from time to time, always includes most of these ten philosophies.