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Book: Four Ages of Understanding: The First Po ... John N. Deely. Greek & Roman Philosophy Books. Bookstore: spiritual growth, personal development, psyhology, mind, body, spirit, art, self-help.
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Four Ages of Understanding: The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

by John N. Deely

Buy the book: John N. Deely. Four Ages of Understanding: The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

Release Date: August, 2001

Edition: Hardcover

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Buy the book: John N. Deely. Four Ages of Understanding: The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twenty-First Century


A Book That Changes History

This book should be on the shelf of every person who takes ideas seriously, be they professor, student, or simply an informed citizen. The work is as revolutionary as it is comprehensive. There are many notable features, including passing comments on social and political developments in history, and an assessment of philosophy in the history of Islam. But two novelties bear particular mention. PartII provides nothing less than a new understanding of medieval thought. It shows for the first time a unity to the Latin period, from its fifth century beginnings to the modern revolution in the seventeenth century. The period from Ockham to Descartes, little more than a black hole in the standard histories heretofore, is shown to be a vital fulfillment of the medieval development. Figures and works normally neglected here come to life. The period culminates in the first systematic treatment of sign in general essayed by John Poinsot (a contemporary of Galileo and Descartes utterly unknown to the standard histories). Part IV provides the first coherent explanation I have seen of what a postmodern development of philosophy consists in, and how and why the postmodern epoch differs from modernity. In short, this book provides a new, complete outline of intellectual history, and argues in the course of doing so for a new view of history as essential to philosophy in the way that the laboratory is essential to science. The bibliography of the work is constructed to reveal the historical layers in philosophical discourse, as layers of rock reveal to a geologist the history of the earth. The Index at the end is astonishing, alone worth the price of the book. The book concludes, after the one-hunred-seventy-seven page index, with a five-page double-columned "Timetable of Figures" which enables the reader to see just who was contemporary with whom from philosophy's sixth-century BC origin to the present. Anyone who has ever had to look up dates for philosophers will welcome this incredibly handy, easy to find and complete record of births and deaths. A reference work of permanent value, which is also a whole new take on the nature of philosophy itself within human culture!

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...

...I would NOT suggest his gratuitously heavy and exorbitantly priced book as an introductory text. In many cases the language is rather complicated, and if you want an overview of the history of Philosophy, you can probably find one that won't take you the greater part of your life to read. As a reference book that lives on your shelf and only comes out to play in the case that you might need to consult it on a date, personality, event, etc., it is, however, superb. My suggestion is that you should NOT buy this book unless you A, are a masochist and/or learned in the often stilted style of Philosophic writings, or B, in need of an awesome reference on the history of Philosophy...

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