History and Philosophy

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The book ‘A Brief History of Philosophy: From Socrates to Derrida’ is written by Derek Johnston who is now a retired teacher and has also written ‘A Brief History of Theology: From the New Testament to Feminist Theology’. This book, A Brief History of Philosophy, of 211 pages, was first published in Great Britain by Continuum International Publishing Group in 2006 and then published in India by Bloomsbury Publishing India in 2014.
More about the author
Derek Johnston is now a retired teacher. He used to be the Vice Principal of Midleton College, Co Cork, Ireland, where he taught for over 30 years. He has mainly written on topics such as Historical Theology, Philosophy, History of Western Philosophy, and Introductory Philosophy.
Johnston has simplified the most complex, essential concepts of philosophies ranging from 18 key philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to David Hume, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Jacques Derrida exploring their ideas in relation to each other and to their historical and cultural contexts. He uses clear and accessible language to present an engaging chronological picture of these philosophies. However, this review has been concentrated on the first chapter of this book – ‘Socrates and Plato: the Fire and the Sun’. Before diving deep into reviewing this chapter, we must understand what philosophy in itself is.
Philosophy is a discipline mainly concerned with thinking. Derek Johnston has tried to uncover the real meaning of things as they are (he has emphasized the importance of metaphysics on several occasions) and understand philosophy apart from the abstract entity that it is with the help of various influential philosophers that have lived over time. Philosophy, therefore, is about considering, thinking deeply about a problem, being clear and reasonable, judging…...

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