The Handy Western Philosophy Answer Book: The Ancient Greek Influence on Modern Understanding

by Ed D'Angelo, Ph.D.
Handy Western Philosopy

Difficult philosophy made easy.

The universe and our place in it, the meaning of life, the nature of justice and the good society, and the powers of reason. All these topics explored, questioned, and explained.

Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Stoicism, Skepticism, Cynicism, Continental philosophy, Ethics, government and governing, virtue, love, life, and death. Heidegger, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Bertrand Russell, and Michel Foucault…. From famous figures in the history of philosophy to the deepest questions of religion to the relationship between knowledge and power, The Handy Western Philosophy Answer Book: The Ancient Greek Influence on Modern Understanding makes esoteric ideas and the jumble of names easy to understand, enriching readers’ lives and answering the question, What does philosophy have to teach us about life and society?

Today many people experience a loss of trust in government and organized religion. There's increased social isolation and a rise in insult politics. Seeking an alternative, some have experimented with new forms of politics, social organization, and spirituality. All these developments have led to a great deal of confusion and puzzlement. Who and what can we believe, and how can we know it is correct? From its beginning, philosophy was conceived as a conversation or dialogue, and The Handy Western Philosophy Answer Book raises and offers answers to questions like these …

  • What is philosophy?
  • What is metaphysics?
  • What is logic?
  • How is ethics different than morality?
  • How did Pre-Socratic philosophy get started?
  • What is the arrow paradox?
  • Who was Pythagoras?
  • How did Stoicism inspire modern cognitive psychotherapy?
  • Who was the founder of Western philosophy?
  • What is a harmonic sequence in music?
  • What are the four cardinal virtues?
  • Was pederasty condoned in ancient Greece?
  • How, according to Plato, is philosophy like making love?
  • What are the three parts of the soul?
  • How does democracy degenerate into tyranny?
  • What is the history of Alexander the Great’s military campaigns?
  • How did Alexander the Great change the course of the history of philosophy?
  • What did Aristotle say about the social nature of human beings?
  • What is Aristotle’s conception of the soul?
  • What is the soul of a plant?
  • What is virtue?
  • What is an emotion?
  • Why do we need friends?
  • Why did Aristotle believe that the state has a responsibility to educate its citizens?
  • What did Aristotle think about money?
  • What is the meaning and origin of the Serenity Prayer?
  • What impact did the Epicureans have on the modern world?
  • What was the museum of Alexandria?
  • How did Stoicism inspire modern cognitive psychotherapy?
  • What is the problem with the sentence “The present king of France is bald”?
  • What is the postmodern condition?

    Philosophy is the pursuit of answers to big questions about the purpose of life, death, and existence. Philosophy is about how to reason and find the answers for yourself. Philosophy is a puzzle. You collect clues. You make connections. The Handy Western Philosophy Answer Book is a perfect companion for anyone seeking wider truths and happiness. It is an informative, accessible, easy-to-understand guide to the big questions about living. With more than 120 photos and graphics, it is richly illustrated. Plus, its helpful bibliography, glossary of terms, and extensive index add to its usefulness.

  • About Ed D'Angelo, Ph.D.

    Ed D’Angelo earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he studied continental philosophy and developed a philosophical theory of human consciousness. He also holds a master’s degree in library science from the State University of New York at Albany. Currently an independent scholar, until his retirement in 2014 Dr. D’Angelo was a supervising librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library, where for the last eleven years of his career he led a philosophy discussion group for the public. Additionally, Dr. D’Angelo taught philosophy at Stony Brook, Rensselaer, SUNY Albany, Sienna College, and Empire State College. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Lisa.

    Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

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    Quick Facts

    • ISBN: 9781578595563
    • eBook ISBN: 9781578597260
    • Published 2020
    • 368 pages
    • 120 photos and illustrations
    • 7.125 x 9.25 paperback
    • $24.95

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