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By Luc Ferry

8 months at the bestseller lists in France!

From the undying knowledge of the traditional Greeks to Christianity, the Enlightenment, existentialism, and postmodernism, Luc Ferry’s speedy vintage brilliantly and accessibly explains the iconic teachings of philosophy—including its profound relevance to fashionable lifestyle and its crucial position achieve happiness and dwelling a significant existence. This full of life trip throughout the nice thinkers will enlighten each reader, old and young.

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Extra resources for A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living

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But what here brings the representations of individual groups under the general idea is an entirely different thing. Without going into detail, without complicating this explanation by taking into account shades of meaning, and further qualifying ahead of time anything exaggerated in our distinction, and finally agreeing to give the word "resemblance" its most precise and -66also its narrowest meaning, we say that in the first case the principle of classification is resemblance properly socalled, and in the second it is identity.

It accepts the problem as it is posited by language. It is therefore condemned in advance to receive a ready-made solution or, at best, simply to choose between the two or three only possible solutions, which are co-eternal to this positing of the problem. One might just as well say that all truth is already virtually known, that its model is patented in the administrative offices of the state, and that philosophy is a jig-saw puzzle where the problem is to construct with the pieces society gives us the design it is unwilling to show us.

This half seems to me to get back by right to a metaphysics which also starts from experience, and which, too, is itself capable of attaining the absolute: we should call it science, did not science prefer to limit itself to the other part of reality. Metaphysics, then, is not the superior of positive science; it does not come, after science, to consider the same object in order to obtain a higher knowledge of it. To suppose such a con- -49nection between them, as is the almost invariable custom among philosophers, is to wrong both of them: science, which one condemns to relativity; metaphysics, which will never be anything more than a hypothetical and vague knowledge, since science will necessarily have taken to itself in advance everything precise and certain that can be known of its object.

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