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A Brief History of Thought

Learning to Live - A Philosophical Guide to Living

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


French superstar philosopher Luc Ferry encapsulates an enlightening treatise of pop-philosophy in a lively narrative of Western thought—explaining how the history of philosophy can teach us how to live better lives today. This blockbuster better living guide has already sold nearly a half a million copies in Europe; now it is available worldwide in an exciting, highly readable translation: A Brief History of Thought. Thomas Cathcut & Daniel Klein, authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, call Ferry’s thrilling opus “a fine introduction to philosophy and its fundamental relevance to living a meaningful life—for everyone from the man in the Acropolis to the man in the street.”

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 10, 2011 – This scintillating pop-philosophy survey, a bestseller in France, brushes off the cobwebs and gives the subject compelling immediacy. Sorbonne professor Ferry (What Is a Good Life?) offers a thematic introduction to continental philosophy constructed around the biggest questions: how can we lead a meaningful life knowing that we will die but without the consolation of religion? (Ferry denies Christianity the status of a real philosophy, but considers its intellectual legacy so fundamental that the book is in many ways a search for an atheistic Christianity.) The author’s episodic treatment starts with the Stoic concept of man as a fragment of a harmonious cosmos, moves on to Descartes, Rousseau, and Kant and their establishment of philosophy based on reason and individual freedom, climaxes with Nietzsche’s demolition of modernist certitudes—a stance he finds both thrilling and unsatisfying—and ponders the abiding need to embrace a world we must ultimately lose. Ferry has a knack for translating difficult concepts into laymen’s terms; he even makes Heidegger’s opaque mysticism not just coherent but actually relevant to the global economy. Neophytes and scholars alike will find in this superb primer proof that philosophy belongs at the center of life.

Customer Reviews


Very good introduction to the basic theories of philosophy.
Highly recommended - especially at this bargain price!

Other Books in This Series

A Brief History of Thought
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Published: Dec 27, 2011
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Learning to Live
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings