Philosophical Tales: Being an Alternative History Revealing the Characters, the Plots, and the Hidden Scenes That Make Up the True Story of Philosophy
May 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Enlightening and entertaining, Philosophical Tales examines a few of the fascinating biographical details of history's greatest philosophers (alas, mostly men) and highlights their contributions to the field. By applying the true philosophical approach to philosophy itself, the text provides us with a refreshing "alternative history" of philosophy.
But why should someone want to know that Kant rolled himself three times in his sheets each night before sleeping, that Schopenhauer pushed a poor old lady down the stairs, or Marx spent as much time on beer and women as he did in the British Library? By examining the seeming trivialities of philosophers' lives - and skewering a few cherished myths along the way - Philosophical Tales provides us with illuminating insights that will encourage a more active, critical way of thinking. Blaise Pascal may have put it best when he said, "To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher."
How to Use this Book.
[List of illustrations/
About the Pictures].
1. Socrates the Sorcerer (469 BC E).
2. The Different Forms of Plato ( circa 427-347 BCE).
3. Aristotle the Aristocrat (384 - circa 322 BCE).
4. Lao Tzu Changes into Nothing (sixth to fifth century BCE).
5. Heraclitus: the dark side of the river (c. fifth century BCE).
6. Pythagoras Counts Up to Ten (c570-495 BCE).
7. Hypatia, holds up half of the sky (circa 370-415 CE).
7. Augustine the Hippocrite (354 -
8. Thomas Aquinas disputes the Existence of God ( 1225-74).
9. Descartes the Dilettante and More Des Cartes (1596-1650).
10. Hobbes Squares the Circle (1588-1679).
11. Spinoza grinds himself away... (1632-1677) Enlightened Philosophy.
12. John Locke invents the Slave Trade (1632-1704).
13. The Many Faces of David Hume 1711-1776.
14. Rousseau the Rogue (1712-78).
15. Kant, The Chinaman of Konigsburg (and his rule-bound existence) (1724-1804).
16. Gottfried Leibniz - the thinking machine (1646-1716).
17. Bishop Berkeley's Bermuda College (1685-1753).
18. Headmaster Hegel - and the dangerous lesson of history (1770-1831).
19. Arthur Schopenhauer and his Landlady (1788-1860).
20. The Seduction of S?ren Kierkegaard (1813- circa 1853).
21. Mill's Poetical Turn (1806-73).
22. Henry Thoreau and Life in the Shed (1817-1862).
23. Marx's revolutionary materialism (1818-83).
24. Russell denotes Domething (1872-1970).
25. The Ripping Yarn of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951).
26. Heidegger's Tale (and the Nazis) (1889-1976).
27. Sapir-Whorf and the colour Pinker (c.1900-1950).
28. Being Sartre and not definitely not being de Beauvoir (1905-80 and not 1908-86).
29. Deconstructing Derrida (1930-2005).
30. Appendix : Women in Philosophy, and Why There Aren't Many.
Sources and Further Reading
- Offers a refreshing ‘alternative history’ of philosophy
- Questions whether the some of the great tales of philosophy may actually be fictions, falsehoods, lies and
fibs: Did Plato really write the Socratic Dialogues? Did Descartes ever really utter the words, “I think,
therefore I am”?
- Examines a few of the fascinating biographical details of history’s greatest philosophers, such as Kant’s
need to roll himself three times in his sheets each night before sleeping
- Provides us with illuminating insights that will encourage a more active, critical way of thinking
"Great philosophers only become well known after their deaths. Indeed, to speak of contemporary celebrity philosophers is oxymoronic. Still, one can't help wondering who amongst living philosophers will merit future Philosophical Tales. (The Philosopher, Autumn 2008)“A lover of philosophical ideas and practiced debunker of intellectual sham, Martin Cohen knocks some thirty important philosophers from Socrates to Derrida off their pedestals, and presents in a series of philosophical tales various aspects of their thought, life and personality which few of us ever suspected.” Zenon Stavrinides, University of Bradford
Philosophical Tales: Being an Alternative History Revealing the Characters, the Plots, and the Hidden Scenes That Make Up the True Story of Philosophy (US $25.95)
-and- Mind Games: 31 Days to Rediscover Your Brain (US $19.95)
Total List Price: US $45.90
Discounted Price: US $34.42 (Save: US $11.48)