The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers by Will Durant

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The product of eleven years of research, The Story of Philosophy is an endlessly inspiring and instructive chronicle of the world's greatest thinkers, from Socrates to Santayana. Written with exacting and scrupulous scholarship, it was designed both to command the respect of educators and to capture the interest of the layman.




  • Ever been in a situation where you want to engage in a philosophical discussion but can't recall what Nietzsche or Kant actually believed? Well, this book is here to solve that problem for you. Like most audiobooks, especially ones of this nature, there is one drawback: sometimes you might wish you could go back and reread a particular line or take a moment to reflect on it before moving forward. For modern readers, the only downside is that the book was written almost a century ago, so it concludes with discussions on Bergson, Willam James, Dewey, and Santayana. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover any feminists or postmodernists. Fortunately, this audiobook is not overly challenging to follow. You don't need a college degree or prior knowledge of philosophy to thoroughly enjoy it. The writing is exquisite, and the narration is quite pleasant to listen to.
  • I had really high expectations for this audiobook since it received such rave reviews. Unfortunately, the narrator's monotone voice made it hard for me to stay engaged, causing me to drift off and miss certain parts. Nonetheless, the actual story is quite fascinating, so I might consider purchasing a physical copy instead.
  • I was really excited to give this audiobook a listen as I wanted to get an introduction to the fascinating world of great philosophers and hoped to discover some wise words along the way. However, I must admit that I was a bit disappointed. While it may be a great resource for those who are already well-versed in the subject, I found it to be quite dense and dull for someone new to philosophy. Novice readers might find it a tad overwhelming and uninteresting.
  • Man, I gotta take a break from all this deep thinking for a bit. But let me tell ya, if you're looking for a dope way to get into philosophy and understand what the hell these philosophers are all about, then this audiobook is the bomb. It's engaging, entertaining, and it really brings some light to all these complex ideas. I'm telling you, I'll definitely listen to this again in the future.
  • I was on the hunt for a book that could give me an introduction to the realm of philosophy and philosophers. Luckily, I stumbled upon this gem and it's been an absolute delight. However, I must point out that it's not the best fit for an audiobook format. The author tends to jump back and forth between his own thoughts and analysis, and the quotes and extracts from the philosophers being discussed. Given that the content itself is already quite challenging to grasp, it places an additional cognitive burden on the listener to pick up on the subtle shifts in tone that the narrator employs when transitioning from regular text to quotes, or changes in the writing style. I managed to make it through chapter 3 in the audiobook, which accounts for about 30% of the entire book. At that point, I decided to switch to the hardcopy version and I'm now halfway through it. I must say, I'm thoroughly enjoying the experience. I still use the audiobook, though, as a way to listen to the content I've already read, giving myself the opportunity to ponder the wisdom of these great men while driving or going for a walk.
  • The essence of 'The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers' may be compromised if one listens to it while multitasking like driving or doing other activities. Although I usually prefer audiobooks for such occasions, I would recommend creating a more focused atmosphere, akin to a library, to truly grasp and savor the essence of this book. It is an excellent choice for philosophy enthusiasts, and the narrator's performance is commendable.
  • This early book may not be the ideal introduction to Durant's body of work, nor does it reflect his later grace, style, and captivating brilliance. I don't mean to imply that it's poorly written, but Durant references people and modes of thought without delving into them, many of which I am unfamiliar with or need a refresher to recall. This book was Durant's first successful publication, providing him with the funds to travel to the locations he writes about in his Magnum Opus, "History of Civilization." (Volumes 1-4 are currently available on the service and will blow your mind) As someone who isn't well-versed in philosophy, I can't offer a critical review of this work. However, I do have a basic understanding, and I found myself confused by Durant's choices. For example, he starts with a few obvious philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, but then unexpectedly moves on to Francis Bacon. What about the Stoics and Epicureans? They seem important. Furthermore, after listening to his brief explanation of Bacon, I still don't understand why he is significant. (I'm not suggesting he isn't, but the treatment of him in the book is too brief to be worthwhile) Now, if you're still reading my review, I feel compelled to say that I feel guilty about expressing anything less than entirely positive about Durant. My admiration for his "History of Civilization" is difficult to put into words. His personality shines through in the series, making it hard not to adore him. However... If you're looking for a comprehensive refresher on Western philosophy, I highly recommend "History of Western Philosophy" by Bertrand Russell. It's an outstanding audiobook. Russell, although slightly older, was still a contemporary of Durant and is cited in his books. This generation of authors is truly spectacular! --- The narration in this audiobook is excellent, and if you're a philosophy enthusiast, you may find it absolutely delightful.
  • Edward R. Murrow conducted interviews with various notable individuals for his 1950s series, This I Believe. Among them was Will Durant. After dedicating fifty years of his life to researching and writing an eleven-volume work titled The History of Civilization, Durant penned his own "THIS I BELIEVE ESSAY." He shared his belief in a cosmic intelligence, viewing God as the life, mind, order, and law of the world. Contrary to the notion of endless existence, Durant saw death as life's greatest invention, continually refreshing and replacing the old with the new. Durant's intention with The Story of Philosophy is not to provide an exhaustive exploration of the field. Rather, he aims to emphasize the significance of philosophy and its role in addressing the fundamental questions of human existence. In his updated (1950s) version of The Mansions of Philosophy, Durant critiques the lack of philosophical engagement with scientific advancements and the failure of late 20th-century philosophers to integrate these discoveries. He believes that without contextualization and direction, humanity is losing its way amidst scientific progress.