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Great Birthday Gifts from Katerina

November 10, 2006

For my birthday, Katerina gave me volumes 2 and 3 of Anthony Kenny’s A New History of Western Philosophy series, which he is putting together for Oxford University Press. I highly recommend the series to anyone who desires a basic working knowledge of philosophical inquiry from the time of the Pre-Socratics up until today (volume 4 will be published next year, I believe). Kenny writes with lucidity and command, and he has done a great service to academia in providing these texts. What is unique to Kenny’s project is the diptych that characterizes each volume. He begins each volume with a survery of the philosophical history of the respective epoch, noting its major trends and ideas. In the section section of each volume, he treats specific issues in philosophy (e.g. Logic, Ethics, God) and goes into some detail on the contributions made by the major philosophers to that topic. While I do not think they replace or rival Frederick Copleston’s illustrious History of Philosophy series, Kenny’s volumes certainly complement it well.

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