How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy
(Granta, 432 PP, £20)
“I think, therefore I am.” Not as much followed from that idea as Descartes hoped, but it does contain at least one inarguable. Man is a thinking animal. And since men live all over the world, thought goes on here, there and everywhere. Yet if you study philosophy at university, or read any of the numerous philosophical primers available, you could be forgiven for thinking that thought is something that takes place only in Europe and America. Wonderfully entertaining an introduction to the subject though it will always be, Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy doesn’t half live up to its title.
In How the World Thinks, Julian Baggini – like Russell before him, one of the great philosophical popularisers of his age – sets out to right this wrong.