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The Invention of Philosophy in English

Jonathan Ree



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05 August 2020
'Ree, one of Britain's best-known living philosophers ... has delivered an impressive reimagining of what a history of philosophy ought to be' (Prospect) This fresh and brilliant history of how philosophy became established in English presents a new form of philosophical storytelling. Ree tells the story of philosophy as it was lived and practised, embedded in its time and place, by men and women from many walks of life, engaged with the debates and culture of their age. And, by focusing on works in English, he shows them to be quite as diverse, inventive and cosmopolitan as their continental counterparts. Compelling intellectual portraits of celebrated British and American philosophers rub shoulders with the remarkable philosophical work of literary writers, such as William Hazlitt and George Eliot, as well as a carnival of overlooked characters - priests and poets, teachers, servants and crofters, thinking for themselves and reaching their own conclusions about religion, politics, art and everything else.

The book adopts a novel structure, examining its subject at fifty-year intervals from the sixteenth century to the twentieth. It is full of stories and personalities as well as ideas, and shows philosophy springing from the life around it. Witcraft overturns the established orthodoxies of the history of philosophy, and celebrates the diversity, vitality and inventiveness of philosophical thought.
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 32mm
Weight:   523g
ISBN:   9780141027418
ISBN 10:   014102741X
Pages:   768
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jonathan Ree is a freelance philosopher and historian. His previous books include Philosophical Tales, Proletarian Philosophers and I See a Voice.

Reviews for Witcraft: The Invention of Philosophy in English

Witcraft is the story of philosophy in English told in a new way, narrated with relish and considerable wit -- Jonathan Egid * Times Literary Supplement * Dead philosophers, and indeed dead philosophies, here feel alive, and integrated with the rest of history -- Nakul Krishna * Daily Telegraph * Ree's book may well be the most fun we've ever had with anglophone philosophy -- Stuart Jeffries * Spectator * Ree spans a vast ocean of ideas. He introduces us to their shapers and breakers, and gently captains us in 50-year stretches across the seas of English-language thought with astonishing skill as both map-maker and way-finder ... enjoy its riches slowly, and savour every generous, erudite and undogmatic page -- Boyd Tonkin * Financial Times *

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