Witcraft : The Invention of Philosophy in English

Witcraft : The Invention of Philosophy in English


'Astonishing ... enjoy its riches slowly, and savour every generous, erudite and undogmatic page' Boyd Tonkin, Financial Times

'We English men have wits,' wrote the clergyman Ralph Lever in 1573, and, 'we have also framed unto ourselves a language.'

Witcraft is a fresh and brilliant history of how philosophy became established in English. It presents a new form of philosophical storytelling and challenges what Jonathan Ree calls the 'condescending smugness' of traditional histories of philosophy. Ree tells the story of philosophy as it was lived and practised, embedded in its time and place, by men and women from many walks of life, engaged with the debates and culture of their age. And, by focusing on the rich history of works in English, including translations, he shows them to be quite as colourful, diverse, inventive and cosmopolitan as their continental counterparts.

Witcraft offers new and compelling intellectual portraits not only of celebrated British and American philosophers, such as Hume, Emerson, Mill and James, but also of the remarkable philosophical work of literary authors, such as William Hazlitt and George Eliot, as well as a carnival of overlooked characters - priests and poets, teachers, servants and crofters, thinking for themselves and reaching their own conclusions about religion, politics, art and everything else.

The book adopts a novel structure, examining its subject at fifty-year intervals from the sixteenth century to the twentieth. Researched over decades and illuminated by quotations from extensive archival material, it is a book full of stories and personalities as well as ideas, and shows philosophy springing from the life around it. Witcraft overturns the established orthodoxies of the history of philosophy, and celebrates the diversity, vitality and inventiveness of philosophical thought.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 046509306X
ISBN 13: 9780465093069

21 May 2019
Barbara Tversky

ISBN 10: 1643131346
ISBN 13: 9781643131344

02 Jul 2019
Christian B. Keller

ISBN 10: 1590172019
ISBN 13: 9781590172018

16 May 2006
Vasily Grossman

ISBN 10: 1635573955
ISBN 13: 9781635573954

10 Sep 2019
William Dalrymple

ISBN 10: 0525428771
ISBN 13: 9780525428770

06 Jun 2019
John Barton

ISBN 10: 1681372207
ISBN 13: 9781681372204

15 Mar 2018
Galen Strawson

ISBN 10: 0674976819
ISBN 13: 9780674976818

01 Jun 2019
Robert B. Brandom

ISBN 10: 0241315166
ISBN 13: 9780241315163

27 Jun 2019
Donald Sassoon

ISBN 10: 1788283724
ISBN 13: 9781788283724

15 Jan 2019
Jane O'Grady

ISBN 10: 0190862173
ISBN 13: 9780190862176

15 May 2018
Pamela Mensch

ISBN 10: 0691160031
ISBN 13: 9780691160030

09 Jan 2018
Scott Soames

ISBN 10: 0241003911
ISBN 13: 9780241003916

16 Jul 2019
Dr John Barton