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Witcraft : the invention of philosophy in English

Author: Jonathan Rée
Publisher: [London], UK : Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, 2019. ©2019
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In Witcraft Jonathan Rée offers compelling intellectual portraits of celebrated British and American philosophers such as Locke, Hume, Emerson, Mill and James. But he also does much more. He draws attention to the philosophical work of literary authors like William Hazlitt and George Eliot, and dozens of others now largely forgotten, while paying tribute to the hundreds of ordinary men and women who engaged with  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: ebook version :
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan Rée
ISBN: 9780713999334 0713999330
OCLC Number: 1090445040
Description: xii, 746 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction : towards a revolution --
Philosophy learns English --
Puritans, philosophers, comedians --
Politics, religion and the two new philosophies --
New philosophy, new history --
Politics, paradise and personal identity --
The spirit of progress --
Intelligent love --
A collection of nonsense.
Other Titles: Invention of philosophy in English
Responsibility: Jonathan Rée.

Abstract:

In Witcraft Jonathan Rée offers compelling intellectual portraits of celebrated British and American philosophers such as Locke, Hume, Emerson, Mill and James. But he also does much more. He draws attention to the philosophical work of literary authors like William Hazlitt and George Eliot, and dozens of others now largely forgotten, while paying tribute to the hundreds of ordinary men and women who engaged with philosophy while getting on with the rest of their lives. Philosophers in Britain and America have often been regarded as narrow-minded and pedestrian compared to their counterparts in continental Europe: this lively and eventful book reveals them instead as colourful, diverse, inventive and cosmopolitan. Philosophy, in Rée's interpretation, turns out to be not the work of a few canonical old men, but of masses of ordinary people who have insisted on thinking for themselves, and reaching their own conclusions about religion, politics, art and everything else. 'We English men have wits', as Ralph Lever wrote in the sixteenth century. The history of philosophy will never look the same again.

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belongs on the small shelf of genuinely readable histories of philosophy which are also not over-simplified into intellectual caricature... He keeps before the reader the historical accidents which Read more...

 
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