Monday, April 02, 2007

Truth and philosophy

Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy has a surprise inclusion: Byron, the original rebel. Will Durant, too, provides a pride of place to Voltaire in his Story of Philosophy while relegating Hegel to an insignificant status. In Western Intellectual Tradition: From Leonard to Hegel by Jacob Bronowski and Bruce Mazlish Francis Bacon is not mentioned. The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change by Randall Collins tracks the conflictual as well as commensalistic networks among the philosophers that make them popular. For instance, Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky became famous only after a considerable lapse of time because of Kafka and Camus. And where is Sartre today? [TNM]

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