Thought: A Philosophical History  book cover
1st Edition

Thought: A Philosophical History

ISBN 9780367000103
Published May 3, 2021 by Routledge
336 Pages

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Book Description

Of all the topics in the history of philosophy, the history of different forms of thinking and contemplation is one of the most important, and yet is also relatively overlooked. What is it to think philosophically? How did different forms of thinking—reflection, contemplation, critique and analysis—emerge in different epochs?

This collection offers a rich and diverse philosophical exploration of the history of contemplation, from the classical period to the twenty-first century. It covers canonical figures including Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Kant, as well as debates in less well-known areas such as classical Indian and Islamic thought and the role of speculation in twentieth-century Russian philosophy.

Comprising twenty-two chapters by an international team of contributors, the volume is divided into five parts:

• Flourishing and Thinking from Homer to Hume
• The Thinking of Thinking from Augustine to Gödel
• Images and Thinking from Plotinus to Unger
• Bodies of Thought and Habits of Thinking from Plato to Irigaray
• The Efficacy of Thinking from Sextus to Bataille

Thought: A Philosophical History is the first comprehensive investigation of the history of philosophical thought and contemplation. As such, it is a landmark publication for anyone researching and teaching the history of philosophy, and a valuable resource for those studying the subject in related fields such as literature, religion, sociology and the history of ideas.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Patterns of Thinking Panayiota Vassilopoulou and Daniel Whistler

Part 1: Flourishing and Thinking from Homer to Hume

1. Thinking Like a Hero Casey Perin

2. The Primacy of Practice and the Centrality of Outlook: Reflections on Chinese Ethical Traditions Kwong-loi Shun

3. Thinking, Theorising and Theoria Stephen Clark

Part 2: The Thinking of Thinking from Augustine to Gödel

4. The Myth of the Mental: an Augustinian critique of Dreyfus and McDowell Catherine Pickstock

5. Romantic Thinking Nicholas Halmi

6. Pure and Impure Thinking in Hegel’s Encyclopedia Markus Gabriel

7. Denkicht—Thicket-Thinking with Walter Benjamin around 1917 Peter Fenves

8. Formal-Syntactical Thinking and the Structure of the World Paul M. Livingston

Part 3: Images and Thinking from Plotinus to Unger

9. Plotinus: Philosophical Thinking as Self-Creation Panayiota Vassilopoulou

10. Thinking’s History: Descartes and the Past Tense of Thought Andrea Gadberry

11. Polyp-Thinking in the Eighteenth Century Lydia Azadpour and Daniel Whistler

12. The Mythic Imagination as an ‘Experiment in Philosophy’: Erich Unger’s Contribution to the Phenomenology of Thinking Bruce Rosenstock

Part 4: Bodies of Thought and Habits of Thinking from Plato to Irigaray

13. Thinking about the Unthinkable: Hypothesizing the khôra in the Timaeus Luc Brisson

14. Thought in Motion: Lucretius’ Materialist Practice Thomas Nail

15. Thinking Philosophically in the Middle Ages: The Case of the Early Franciscans Lydia Schumacher

16. The ‘Thought-Work’; Or, The Exuberance of Thinking in Kant and Freud Stella Sandford

17. Thinking Otherwise with Irigaray and Maximin Rachel Jones

Part 5: The Efficacy of Thinking from Sextus to Bataille

18. Thinking without Commitment: Two Models Richard Bett

19. Thinking, Acting, and Acting by Thinking: Marx and Althusser Gregor Moder

20. ‘Thoughts and purposes have come to me in the shadow I should never have learned in the sunshine’: The Development of Philosophical Thinking in the Literature of Frances E.W. Harper Catherine Villanueva Gardner

21. The Void of Thought and the Ambivalence of History: Chaadaev, Bakunin, Fedorov Kirill Chepurin and Alex Dubilet

22. The Destruction of Thought Gil Anidjar.


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Panayiota Vassilopoulou is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool, UK. Her work connects history-of-philosophy research with contemporary philosophical practice, particularly social and reflective practices in the cultural industries and the health sector. With Stephen R. L. Clark she is editor of Late Antique Epistemology: Other Ways to Truth (2009).

Daniel Whistler is Reader in Modern European Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. He is co-author of The Schelling-Eschenmayer Controversy, 1801: Nature and Identity, author of Schelling’s Theory of Symbolic Language: Forming the System of Identity and has edited numerous volumes including the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Modern French Philosophy.