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Great Philosophers 

Great Philosophers

A Brief Story of the Self and Its Worlds

Written by: Jeffrey Reid

Publication Date: December 16, 2008
128pp • Paperback
ISBN: 9781551119632 / 1551119633

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Great Philosophers tells the story of Western philosophy through the thought of its main protagonists, the great philosophers. The narrative begins with the Presocratic philosophers Heraclitus and Parmenides and ends in recent times, as each philosopher wrestles with the problems and solutions of his or her predecessors. Along the way, Jeffrey Reid provides an engaging introduction to many of the principal ideas of luminaries such as Plato, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Sartre.

Great Philosophers not only provides an ideal introduction to philosophical thought, but also an original understanding of the discipline of philosophy itself. The book aims not only to recount an important tradition, but also to reveal something about how it has affected who we are.


"Jeffrey Reid has written a stimulating introduction to a number of key figures in the history of western philosophy. He shows that philosophy, far from being a discipline of abstract argumentation, is concerned with issues of central importance to anyone interested in living a life that is fully aware of its own limitations and possibilities." – John Burbidge, Trent University

"Great Philosophers is an excellent text for use in the classroom:  it is clear, accurate, and engaging in its interpretation. The selection of figures, from the Presocratics and other Greek philosophers, through Hannah Arendt and Charles Taylor, will allow students to get a good sense of the full range of thinkers in the Western philosophical tradition. I recommend it very highly." – Robert Metcalf, University of Colorado, Denver

Jeffrey Reid is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa. His books include Real Words: Language and System in Hegel (University of Toronto Press, 2007) and L'anti-romantique – Hegel contre le romantisme ironique, (Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 2007). He teaches the Great Philosophers course at the University of Ottawa.

Table of Contents: [Back to Top]

The Presocratic Philosophers

  1. Heraclitus        
  2. Parmenides

Plato and Socrates            

  1. Socrates            


  1. Aristotle and the Medieval Schools
  2. Descartes










Hannah Arendt and Charles Taylor

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Great Philosophers

2008 • 128pp • Paperback • 9781551119632 / 1551119633

Instructors – Planning your syllabi? Consider this book for course use.

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Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.