This is a uniquely authoritative history of philosophy for the general reader. Written by a team of distinguished scholars, it tells the story of Western philosophy from its ancient beginnings to the present day, emphasizing the intellectual context of its development. Philosophy has played a central part in the history of Western civilization. This volume offers a detailed account of the lives and works of all the major thinkers through the ages, including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Hegel, and recent figures such as Russell, Sartre, and Wittgenstein. Key concepts, doctrines, and schools of thought from both the Anglo-American and Continental traditions are explored in a distinctive and accessible way. Personalities and ideas are brought to life as the book captures the richness and vitality of philosophy across a wide range of cultures and times. The contributors are all experts in their fields and each makes a sharply individualistic contribution. They write with awareness of the latest scholarship and present their material in a lively and intelligible way. They bring to their chapters not only deep understanding, but also enthusiasm and zest for their subject. The book is illustrated with over 150 colour and black-and-white pictures, chosen to illuminate and complement the text.