Will Durant Bibliography (7 Titles) [Philosophy, History & Political Science]

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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LectorRecitator
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Post by LectorRecitator » May 6th, 2020, 1:44 pm

WILLIAM JAMES DURANT (1885–1981)

Socialism And Anarchism (1914)

📖 Ideal for novice readers.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015081765052&view=2up&seq=1

The Story Of Aristotle's Philosophy (1923)

📖 Ideal for novice readers.

ℹ️ "The student who has come to philosophy under the spur of Plato's eloquence will need some encouragement to face the more practical and prosaic work of Aristotle. If he finds the following essay difficult and unattractive, let him reflect that Aristotle's is almost the most abstract and obscure of all the great philosophies; and that only the exigencies of logical and chronological sequence have led us to study him before mastering simpler systems. Aristotle is hard to grasp because his work is so varied and manifold that no centralizing unity can be found to co-ordinate it for easier comprehension. Nor is there in his work any enthralling drama of passionate reform; he is a man of the world who has become almost reconciled to the eternity of human imperfections. The author has spared neither time nor labor to make out under the mummy-like mass of lecture notes in which Aristotle has come down to us, the features of the living man; but he is very much afraid that he has failed." (A Word To The Reader)

https://archive.org/details/storyofaristotle39dura/page/n1/mode/2up

The Philosophy Of Immanuel Kant (1924)

📖 Ideal for novice readers.

https://archive.org/details/philosophyofimma641dura/page/n1/mode/2up

Voltaire And The French Enlightenment (1924)

📖 Ideal for novice readers.

https://archive.org/details/voltairefrenchen512dura/page/n1/mode/2up

Philosophy And The Social Problem (1928, 2nd Edition)

ℹ️ "THE purpose of this essay is to show: first, that the social problem has been the basic concern of many of the greater philosophers; second, that an approach to the social problem through philosophy is the first condition of even a moderately successful treatment of this problem; and third, that an approach to philosophy through the social problem is indispensable to the revitalization of philosophy.

By “philosophy” we shall understand a study of experience as a whole, or of a portion of experience in relation to the whole.

By the “social problem” we shall understand, simply and very broadly, the problem of reducing human misery by modifying social institutions. It is a problem that, ever reshaping itself, eludes sharper definition; for misery is related to desire, and desire is personal and in perpetual flux: each of us sees the problem unsteadily in terms of his own changing aspirations. It is an uncomfortably complicated problem, of course; and we must bear in mind that the limit of our intention here is to consider philosophy as an approach to the problem, and the problem itself as an approach to philosophy. We are proposing no solutions.

Let us, as a wholesome measure of orientation, touch some of the mountain-peaks in philosophical history, with an eye for the social interest that lurks in every metaphysical maze. “Aristotle,” says Professor Woodbridge, “set treatise-writers the fashion of beginning each treatise by reviewing previous opinions on their subject, and proving them all wrong.”[1] The purpose of the next five chapters will be rather the opposite: we shall see if some supposedly dead philosophies do not admit of considerable resuscitation. Instead of trying to show that Socrates, Plato, Bacon, Spinoza, and Nietzsche were quite mistaken in their views on the social problem, we shall try to see what there is in these views that can help us to understand our own situation to-day. We shall not make a collection of systems of social philosophy; we shall not lose ourselves in the past in a scholarly effort to relate each philosophy to its social and political environment; we shall try to relate these philosophies rather to our own environment, to look at our own problems successively through the eyes of these philosophers. Other interpretations of these men we shall not so much contradict as seek to supplement.

Each of our historical chapters, then, will be not so much a review as a preface and a progression. The aim will be neither history nor criticism, but a kind of construction by proxy. It is a method that has its defects: it will, for example, sacrifice thoroughness of scholarship to present applicability, and will necessitate some repetitious gathering of the threads when we come later to our more personal purpose. But as part requital for this, we shall save ourselves from considering the past except as it is really present, except as it is alive and nourishingly significant to-day. And from each study we shall perhaps make some advance towards our final endeavor,—the mutual elucidation of the social problem and philosophy."
(Introduction)

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015003292607&view=2up&seq=16

The Age Of Faith (1950)

ℹ️ Volume 4 of The Story Of Civilization

ℹ️ "THIS book aims to give as full and fair an account of medieval civilization, from a.d. 325 to 1300, as space and prejudice will permit. Its method is integral history—the presentation of all phases of a culture or an age in one total picture and narrative. The obligation to cover the economic, political, legal, military, moral, social, religious, educational, scientific, medical, philosophic, literary, and artistic aspects of four distinct civilizations—Byzantine, Islamic, Judaic, and West European—has made unification and brevity difficult. The meeting and conflict of the four cultures in the Crusades provides a measure of unity; and the tired reader, appalled by the length of the book, may find some consolation in learning that the original manuscript was half again longer than the present text. Nothing has been retained except what seemed necessary to the proper understanding of the period, or to the life and color of the tale." (To The Reader)

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.49015002214162&view=2up&seq=8

The Age Of Reason Begins (1961) with Durant, Ariel (1898–1981)

ℹ️ Volume 7 of The Story Of Civilization

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.49015002214139&view=2up&seq=6

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