The Dream of Reason

  • by Anthony Gottlieb
  • Narrated by Wanda McCaddon
  • 18 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this landmark new study of Western thought, Anthony Gottlieb looks afresh at the writings of the great thinkers, questions much of conventional wisdom, and explains his findings with unbridled brilliance and clarity. From the pre-Socratic philosophers through the celebrated days of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, up to Renaissance visionaries like Erasmus and Bacon, philosophy emerges here as a phenomenon unconfined by any one discipline. Indeed, as Gottlieb explains, its most revolutionary breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences have repeatedly been co-opted by other branches of knowledge, leading to the illusion that philosophers never make any progress.
From the physics of angels to Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, Gottlieb builds through example and anecdote a vivid portrait of the human drive for understanding. After finishing The Dream of Reason, listeners will be graced with a fresh appreciation of the philosophical quest, its entertaining and bizarre byways, and its influence on every aspect of life.

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What the Critics Say

"This eloquent book offers a lively chronicle of the evolution of Western philosophy." (Publishers Weekly)
"[Gottlieb] writes with fluency and lucidity, with a gift for making even difficult matters seem comprehensible." (The New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An in depth read.

An interesting review of the early development of western philosophy. I would recommend it to those who are curious about how our collective philosophical thought came to be.
The content is organized chronologically by those who were the driving force of the idea. The author does a neat job tying previous and future concepts together, and hence my problem. Not a student of philosophy I was occasionally lost by the frequent reference to names I was unfamiliar with. This would be an asset to those who know the names.
Narration is excellent, as is the sound quality.
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- Leigh A

Excellent and entertaining backgrounder

If you want to learn about Philosophy or have had a modest introduction to one or two philosophers you are likely to appreciate this book. Its emphasis is undoubtedly on ancient greek philosophy rather than modern philosophy. However it was no small task to assemble even what was in here. The narrator is also excellent and a pleasure to listen to. The only criticism I have is that the author takes an attitude that we now know all there is to be known, and it becomes painfully obvious from listening to this book that there is a lot left to learn.
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- Deep Think

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-27-2003
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.