They were not like most people. They thought differently about existence, they gave their thoughts a voice and when they were six feet under the ground they had the rest of the world thinking differently.
This is an intriguing book that gives you insight into the minds of all the great European philosophers over the ages.
The philosophers are: Thales, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Voltaire, Rousseau, Kant, Herder, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Mill, Nietzsche, Luxemburg, Hägerström, Russell, Næss, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, and Barthes.
It is the well-known Swedish writer Gunnar Fredriksson who originally wrote these 26 articles for a Swedish newspaper.
To think new, different and big thoughts has always been venturesome. While alive, philosophers have often been regarded as a threat to society. Later they have become respected and renowned for their thoughts, ideas and freedom of expression.
It’s remarkable how many of them disliked universities and how nearly all of them have been persecuted by theologians and churches. Some of them have never been forgiven for their ideas.
From the list of philosophers, only three of them were highly respected university professors – Kant, Hegel and Barthes. Russell was also a professor but was dismissed due to his work for world peace and for being in an unsuitable marriage. Wittgenstein was a professor but often ridiculed university life in Cambridge and his colleagues thought him to be so peculiar that they had trouble accepting him.
None of those from the great generation – Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke or Hume – had success at university. Many more than we are aware of were subject to great pressure and even exiled by those in political power. Rosa Luxemburg was even murdered.
The author has narrowed his choice of philosophers down to the Western world, despite the fact that important philosophical movements have taken place elsewhere in the world. But they are a part of tradition and culture so different from ours that insight into that would demand a whole new book altogether.