Review of “A History of Western Philosophy: Kant and the Nineteenth Century, V. IV” by W. T. Jones

This book is the fourth in a five part series.

These books are a great introduction to philosophy. They give enough depth to allow the reader to understand the major points, without getting bogged down in the (often ridiculously complex) weeds. Jones does a wonderful job of explaining. This is not to say that the books are easy to read. They still take quite a bit of effort.

I’m not going to try to get into the philosophers discussed in the book. Jones takes 360 pages and that is, already, a high-level summary. I can’t summarize beyond that. I can, tell you what is discussed. This book deals with 19th Century philosophy. 19th Century philosophy begins with Kant’s reaction to Hume. Kant recognized the destructive effects of Hume’s devastating critique of reason and tried to salvage reason.

The rest of 19th Century philosophy deals with Kant’s ideas, the death of reason and the death of the mood of the enlightenment (which believed in the perfection of mankind). Later in the Century, 19th Century philosophy tries to deal with the alienation created by industrialization. Philosophers discussed are Kant, Hegel & Schopenhauer (Romanticism), Bentham & Mill & Comte & Marx (scientism), Kierkegaard & Nietzsche, C. S. Pierce, William James, and F. H. Bradley.

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