Magazine
Latest Issue

Why philosophy should be a carnival, not a museum

Jonathan Rée's new history turns philosophical history on its head

By Alex Dean   July 2019
Great Englishman: David Hume

Great Englishman: David Hume

Histories of philosophy are the first thing recommended to newcomers to the discipline. As Jonathan Rée writes in his latest book, without them “no philosophical education would be complete.” But do they actually teach us new things about the great thinkers of the past? For Rée, one of Britain’s best-known living philosophers, the answer has often been “no.”

The problem, as Rée sees it, is that many historians of philosophy tend to “guard over the values of their discipline”—they repeat lessons…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with our newsletter, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect