A History of Western Philosophy and Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day.

RUSSELL Bertrand (1946.)


Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

One of Russell’s most influential and well-known works.

First UK edition. 8vo (225 x 150mm). 916 pp. Original grey cloth, spine lettered in yellow on brown cloth insets, dust jacket (price clipped, some trivial wear to extremities, notwithstanding a near fine, notably bright copy). London, Allen and Unwin.

First published in the USA the previous year, this first UK edition contains a few minor revisions to what was a great success for Russell, ensuring him financial security for the remainder of his life. It remains among his most influential and well-known works, charting the development of Western philosophy from the Pre-Socratics onwards, concluding with a statement of Russell’s own brand of Logical Positivism. Russell’s analysis is somewhat Janus-faced in its focus, being in part a comprehensive introduction to philosophy and at once a more social history of Western culture itself, an ambiguity for which the book would attract criticism from some quarters.

The immediate cultural and intellectual legacy of the Second World War looms over much of the book; the absence of any reference to Martin Heidegger is particularly conspicuous, and Russell’s presentation of Nietzsche is largely limited to the corrupted reading of the Übermensch as a literal depiction of a master race that came to be adopted by Nazi ideologues. In a more immediately physical sense, the dust jackets were printed, in accordance with Book Production War Economy Standards, on the backs of surplus military maps, with the copy presented here showing part of the Lódz Voivodeship province of Poland.

Stock Code: 246101

close zoom-in zoom-out close zoom