From Socrates to Sartre by T.Z. Lavine

A survey of six of the important figures of Western philosophy: Plato, Descartes, Hume, Hegel, Marx, and Sartre. This was a delightful book, far more interesting and readable than the works of the philosophers themselves. As anyone who has tried to read Aristotle or Heidegger can attest, concise summaries like this are a much more fruitful and less discouraging approach to studying philosophy than beginning directly with the writings of the great philosophers, many of whom seem perversely enamored of being tedious and impenetrable. The last few chapters on Sartre and existentialism were the most interesting, and the final chapter poses the question of whether analytical philosophy has closed the book on Western philosophy for good. I somehow doubt it.

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