‘The Story Of Philosophy‘, is a book by Anne Rooney, illustrating the advent of thinking Philosophers and the evolution of Philosophy over the time. This book traces it’s Philosophical roots from ancient Greeks to the modern thinkers.
Beautiful illustrations with side notes, and related short stories embedded in the text, enhances the whole experience of reading and learning. It won’t make any point in reviewing this book, as it actually is a journey of the philosophical ideas of various philosophers. So, I would rather present to you some snapshot, or shall I say intellectual words deserving a good sharing with wider audience.
When Rene Descartes said, ‘I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am‘, he put forward a very good reasoning, that I reason, that is why I am into existence, but what am I? What is I? This is the difference between Being and Knowing.
Another riveting topic is, should we believe in God, or not? Or, why should we believe in God? Pascal’s wager gave us a solution about the existence of God. He said “If God does not exist, we lose nothing by believing that he does – death brings annihilation whether we believe or not. But if he does exist, then we stand to gain everything (salvation) by believing that he does, and to lose everything (damnation) by thinking that he doesn’t.”
Thought proving discussion has taken place among philosophers of various centuries to understand, what are we? What is Human Being? Is he mind, or matter, or soul? Where does our soul go when we die? Where do we go, when we die? Is there a heaven and hell? What is Self? What is consciousness? As Searle, put it, “Consciousness is an emergent property of the brain”. But, is it, only that?
Most fascinating thing that happened in the history of Philosophy is the relationship that three of the world’s greatest Philosophers have shared with each other. Great Philosopher Aristotle, was a pupil of Plato, who was actually a devoted pupil of Socrates, the great thinker of his time. What an amazing Philosophical lineage?
Socrates has once stated that “man cannot search either for what he knows or for what he does not know. He cannot search for what he knows – since he knows it, there is no need to search – nor for what he does not know, for he does not know what to look for.”
How should we live? If everything is predestined by God, how does it matter? How can we judge action of others, if every one of us is behaving the same way as God has destined us to do? What is a free will? If there is a free will, what will we choose, good or bad? How will we choose? Can we ever live in a perfect ethical and morally good society? What is good?
At the end, a Quote by Bertrand Russel, summarize it all by stating “The point of Philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.”