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Hi, I am looking for a history of philosophy kind of book.

I would want one with texts from Hegel and Nietzche and authors that have influenced them. I don't really want it because of them, but more because knowing more about the two of them would help me so much more to understand modern philosophy.

Later perhaps I would want to read more about pic related, Bakhunin and Kropotkin.


I would recommend Confessions of a Philosopher by Brian Magee. The book is in the format of an autobiography, but that is just the vehicle that the author uses to explore philosophy as a whole. It's a very thorough introduction to western philosophy. The author does an excellent job of explaining the thought of each philosopher, as well as how they influence(d) and buil(d/t) upon each other.
I understand that the autobiographical narrative of the text would give most pause, and I'd be wary myself had I not read this on the suggestion of a trusted friend & ("professional") philosopher. Look up The Great Philosophers program - Magee has made a name for himself over the years by writing or participating in media that has tried to make philosophy accessible; TGP is a BBC series wherein each episode focused on a particular philosopher, with Magee interviewing the/a preeminent scholar on the subject. (I'll link when I'm not phoneposting.)

I can't speak to your Nietzsche and Hegel criteria, because I'm not entirely sure if you want a text that rests and/or focuses on them, or if you'd be okay with them not being the central focus of the text. If the latter, then I stick to this recommendation. It's been years since I read the book, and I'm not kind to my memory, so I can't recall what he had to say about them specifically. (Though I do recall that he had two chapters on Schopenhauer specifically, and also has a magnificent text on Schopenhauer - which will tell you something about where he stands.)

There may be better books that better suit what you're looking for; hopefully someone finds this suggestion helpful. There are some flaws - I recall the author sometimes going off on small tangents to explain an idea or viewpoint, and it is a philosophical textbook masquerading as an autobiography, which isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea (personally, I found it most very pleasurable, and far more approachable and digestible than the source material; the format allowed the author to really make sure each point is both clear and in context before moving on.)

I'd recommend looking at the chapter list, reading an excerpt, and seeing if it's something you'd enjoy. I bought my copy off a used bookseller on amazon for something like $6.

Best of luck Lainon! Hope you find what you're looking for.


Terrible format (broken into so many sections), but here's TGP (Hegel and Nietzsche are near the bottom, but you should probably start from the beginning.)

I am reminded that there is actually a companion text by the same author with the same name. I own it but have never read it. That may be a better starting place for you, I can't speak for it personally, but I can speak for him as a writer when I say he's extremely good at breaking down even the densest ideas. I'd still recommend COAP; on paper I'd be against the idea of autobiography-as-vessel - but that's because I'd assume that's generally terribly executed. This is not the case with this book. I thoroughly enjoy Magee's writing, and the story of his search for meaning and understanding via philosophy actually aided my understanding of the concepts.

I'm sure there's a PDF floating round, and you can read it the first chapter via Google books, if that's acceptable to you - I'm afraid I do terrible things to this (containment) phone, like use Google on Chrome and log into various social media apps.


Years ago I read either the Dummy's Guide or the Complete Idiot's Guide to philosophy, and it really spelt it out for me.
Well, that and running down all the names in the Monty Python "Philosopher's Drinking Song", and looking them up in the Britannica.