Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Audiobook Review: The Dream of Reason

The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance by Anthony Gottlieb

I've always had a love for philosophy. I enjoy discussing topics like ethics and I enjoy discussing science just as much. But I didn't know much of philosophers outside Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates, who's name I always pronounce in my head like Bill and Ted did, thanks dudes!!!

The Dream of Reason served as a primer for western philosophy up to the Renaissance. Much time is spent on early philosophers and their main ideas as these served as the foundation for most of their successors.

As audiobooks go, this one was hard to digest. This was definitely a book for reading, not listening. There were just too many names to consume while sitting in traffic. I found myself having to listen to sections twice, more because an idea would be discussed and my mind would start to ponder it and a few minutes later I would realize I had no idea what had been discussed after that.

Anyone looking to get a broad understanding of western philosophy should pick up this book, though I suggest you get the paper version so you can ponder all those wonderful ideas! If you must get the audiobook be prepared to pause and repeat sections.

The Dream of Reason gave me some great starting points for further study. I enjoyed learning about the Pythagoreans (the math geek in me) as well as Stoicism, Skepticism, and Epicureanism. I wish it had delved more into the later philosophers, though. All the same, I enjoyed the book...

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