A History of Western Philosophy: From the Pre-Socratics to Postmodernism, By C. Stephen Evans

A History of Western Philosophy

From the Pre-Socratics to Postmodernism

by C. Stephen Evans

A History of Western Philosophy
  • Length: 600 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: October 09, 2018
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5222
  • ISBN: 9780830852222

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Plato. Aristotle. Augustine. Hume. Kant. Hegel.

These names and the philosophies associated with them ring through the minds of every student and scholar of philosophy. And in their search for knowledge, every student of philosophy needs to know the history of the philosophical discourse such giants have bequeathed us.

Noted philosopher C. Stephen Evans brings his expertise to this daunting task as he surveys the history of Western philosophy, from the Pre-Socratics to Nietzsche and postmodernism—and every major figure and movement in between.

"Few textbook writers have a long and distinguished record of first-rank scholarship, but this one does. Even fewer have been able to write successfully for disciplinary specialists, interested intellectuals, and first-time inquirers, but this one has. Almost none of these can offer the fruit of a lifetime's reflection on philosophy from an informed and discerning Christian viewpoint, but this one can. Steve Evans's new survey is a rare gift, as he himself is, and I trust this book will gain the wide reading it deserves."

John G. Stackhouse Jr., Samuel J. Mikolaski professor of religious studies, Crandall University, Moncton, Canada

"We have here an overview of western philosophy from the pre-Socratic philosophers of ancient Greece to the twentieth century. It offers a summary of the basic teachings of the major thinkers we have come to call philosophers that is comprehensive, succinct, lucid, and evenhanded. In addition there are occasional reflections on the significance of the material for Christian thought. Combined with the appropriate primary source readings, this volume will be a very useful textbook for a variety of college level courses."

Merold Westphal, distinguished professor of philosophy emeritus, Fordham University

"When a world-class Christian philosopher writes on the history of Western philosophy, one can expect a first-rate work that illuminates and enriches—and that is just what we find here. Evans's book effectively distills key philosophical figures and their ideas, considering both their historical context and their lasting influence. What we have in this volume is a marvelous resource that engages key thinkers and philosophical concepts judiciously, insightfully, and Christianly."

Paul Copan, the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University, author of A Little Book for New Philosophers

"Evans's A History of Western Philosophy is a superb instance of its kind, skillfully combining breadth of coverage with insightful philosophical analysis of the ideas and arguments covered. It is accessible enough to be helpful to those who are new to philosophy, yet comprehensive and accurate enough to offer something to graduate students and professors. This book would be especially suitable as the sole secondary text assigned in an introductory philosophy course or in more advanced undergraduate courses in the history of philosophy. It would also be a great resource for clergy and laypeople who are interested in philosophical thought."

Michael Rota, associate professor of philosophy, University of St. Thomas

"C. Stephen Evans has performed a tremendous service for Christian philosophers, especially those new to the field. A History of Western Philosophy is an excellent single-volume history of the progress of western philosophical thought. Dr. Evans hits all the major players, concentrating on the essentials of each philosopher's contribution to the ongoing discussion. His style is clear, lucid, and accessible for the novice while also presenting insightful evaluations for those who are advanced. It is a superb work that should be on the shelf of every thoughtful Christian."

Mark W. Foreman, professor of philosophy and religion, Liberty University


1. Introduction to the Project
2. The Beginnings of Western Philosophy: The Pre-Socratics
3. Socrates and the Sophists
4. Plato
5. Aristotle
6. Philosophy in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods: Epicureanism, Stoicism, Skepticism, and Neoplatonism
7. Early Christian Thought Through Augustine
8. Early Medieval Philosophy
9. The High Middle Ages (I): Thomas Aquinas
10. The High Middle Ages (II): Bonaventure, Scotus, Ockham
11. Philosophy Between the Medieval and Modern Periods
12. Descartes and the Beginning of Modern Philosophy
13. Continental Rationalism: Spinoza and Leibniz
14. British Empiricism: Locke and Berkeley
15. The Scottish Enlightenment (I): David Hume
16. The Scottish Enlightenment (II): Thomas Reid
17. Enlightenment Deism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Mary Wollstonecraft
18. Immanuel Kant
19. German Idealism and Hegel
20. Karl Marx
21. Søren Kierkegaard
22. John Stuart Mill and Nineteenth-Century Positivism
23. Friedrich Nietzsche
24. Conclusions: Some Lessons from the History of Western Philosophy
General Index
Scripture Index


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C. Stephen Evans

C. Stephen Evans (PhD, Yale) is University Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities at Baylor University. He previously taught in the philosophy departments at Calvin College, St. Olaf College, and Wheaton College. He has published several books, including Kierkegaard: An Introduction, Natural Signs and Knowledge of God: A New Look at Theistic Arguments, God and Moral Obligation, Why Christian Faith Still Makes Sense, and Philosophy of Religion.