This outstanding introductory work offers students and the general reader a concise, accessible overview of the nature, problems, and history of Western philosophy. The book is divided into two parts. Part I examines the process of philosophical discourse, including discussions of some of its greatest practitioners, elementary techniques of logical analysis, and a sketch of the history of philosophy from its earliest beginnings among the ancient Greeks to the current day.
Part II considers the major problems of philosophy. Separate chapters are devoted to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of religion, and philosophical anthropology. Frequent sidebars succinctly present background material on specific topics and provide brief biographies of major philosophers.
Complete with helpful tables, diagrams, illustrations, and a very useful time line and bibliography for students, this lucid synopsis of Western philosophy will enlighten the beginner while conveying the excitement of intellectual discovery.
"More than a mere survey, this is a work of philosophical comprehension limited only in its compass because of its intended audience (high school and undergraduate students as well as the general public). Highly recommended." —Library Journal
"[K]elly's work provides a straightforward and complete introduction to the field of philosophy in the Western world. It would not be difficult to imagine reading The Basics of Western Philosophy cover to cover in order to gain a useful overview of Western philosophy. It might even serve beautifully as a textbook for an introductory philosophy course." —Reference & User Services Quarterly