What the Tortoise Taught Us: The Story of Philosophy

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9781442205512: What the Tortoise Taught Us: The Story of Philosophy

What the Tortoise Taught Us offers a lively, concise journey through western philosophy that explores the lives of major philosophers, their ideas, and how their thinking continues to influence our lives today. Using a chronological approach, Burton Porter shows how various philosophers address life's big questions. By putting each philosopher and their ideas into historical context, he helps us understand how certain ideas developed based on the thinking of the time, and how those ideas have influenced our modern perceptions. Using familiar language and interesting anecdotes, Porter provides us with an extremely readable and lively history that takes themes that characterize each age to reflect on the greater human experience. The book includes the philosophies and lives of the ancient philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and continues through time into the Middle Ages with St. Thomas Aquinas, to the Renaissance, and beyond. Porter explores the metaphysics of Descartes and Hobbs; the epistemology of Hume and Berkeley, and the ethics of Kant and Mill among others. Finally he concludes with contemporary issues, including racism, abortion, and modern feminism. Porter is able to explain these complex ideas in a clear, simple, and straightforward way. What the Tortoise Taught Us is a balanced and approachable look at life's basic questions through the eyes of the philosophers that have helped shape modern thought.

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About the Author:

Burton F. Porter is professor of philosophy at Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Review:

This well-written book, which reads like a novel, will appeal to anyone who wants to know what philosophy is all about. Arranged historically, it begins with the Presocratics and ends with contemporary philosophic trends: linguistic philosophy, feminist thought, and the moral issues of abortion and racism. Chapters focus on topics including philosophy of religion, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. The Presocratics are presented as thinkers who raised questions that still are perplexing, such as how much to trust the senses and how much to trust reason. The tortoise in the title refers to Zeno's paradox of the tortoise and the hare, and teaches readers "to question what we see and take to be true"―a good statement of philosophy's mission. Porter (Western New England Univ.) offers enough biographical information to situate philosophers in their time and place. One quibble is that Porter says Berkeley "did not believe the world is real"; however, Berkeley only claimed its reality was not material. The author does explain Berkeley's view accurately in his exposition. Clearly written, and offering a good bibliography and index, this book will be a valuable addition to any library. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students; general readers.

(2011-08-01)

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What the Tortoise Taught Us offers a lively, concise journey through western philosophy that explores the lives of major philosophers, their ideas, and how their thinking continues to influence our lives today. Using a chronological approach, Burton Porter shows how various philosophers address life s big questions. By putting each philosopher and their ideas into historical context, he helps us understand how certain ideas developed based on the thinking of the time, and how those ideas have influenced our modern perceptions. Using familiar language and interesting anecdotes, Porter provides us with an extremely readable and lively history that takes themes that characterize each age to reflect on the greater human experience. The book includes the philosophies and lives of the ancient philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and continues through time into the Middle Ages with St. Thomas Aquinas, to the Renaissance, and beyond. Porter explores the metaphysics of Descartes and Hobbs; the epistemology of Hume and Berkeley, and the ethics of Kant and Mill among others. Finally he concludes with contemporary issues, including racism, abortion, and modern feminism. Porter is able to explain these complex ideas in a clear, simple, and straightforward way. What the Tortoise Taught Us is a balanced and approachable look at life s basic questions through the eyes of the philosophers that have helped shape modern thought. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9781442205512

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