"A history of philosophy in twelve thinkers...The whole performance combines polyglot philological rigor with supple intellectual sympathy, and it is all presented...in a spirit of fun...This bracing and approachable book shows] that there is life in philosophy yet."
--Times Literary Supplement
"Exceptionally engaging...Geuss has a remarkable knack for putting even familiar thinkers in a new light."
--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"Geuss is something like the consummate teacher, his analyses navigable and crystal, his guidance on point."
--Doug Phillips, Key Reporter
Raymond Geuss explores the ideas of twelve philosophers who broke dramatically with prevailing wisdom, from Socrates and Plato in the ancient world to Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Adorno. The result is a striking account of some of the most innovative thinkers in Western history and an indirect manifesto for how to pursue philosophy today. Geuss cautions that philosophers' attempts to break from convention do not necessarily make the world a better place. Montaigne's ideas may have been benign, but the fate of those of Hobbes, Hegel, and Nietzsche has been more varied. Yet in the act of provoking people to think differently, philosophers remind us that we are not fated to live within the systems of thought we inherit.