Will Durant

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Will Durant (1885-1981) is a Pulitzer Prize winning author of many books on philosophy and history. His first book, published in 1917, which became very popular was titled Philosophy and the Social Problem, in which he proposed the theory that philosophy had not grown because it avoided the actual problems of society. His history books sold widely through book clubs, and are well written, but are not considered reliable by scholars.

Partial Bibliography:

  • Philosophy and the Social Problem - published 1917
  • A Guide to Plato - 1922
  • The Story of Aristotle's Philosophy - 1922
  • The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant - 1924
  • Voltaire and the French Enlightenment - 1924
  • The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers - 1926.
  • The Mansions of Philosophy: A Survey of Human Life and Destiny - 1929

Durant is perhaps best known for his multiple-volume set The Story of Civilization:

  • Vol. I: Our Oriental Heritage - 1935
  • Vol. II: The Life of Greece - 1939.
  • Vol. III: Caesar and Christ -1944
  • Vol. IV: The Age of Faith - 1950
  • Vol. V: The Renaissance - 1953.
  • Vol. VI: The Reformation - 1957.
  • Vol. VII: The Age of Reason Begins - 1961.
  • Vol. VIII: The Age of Louis XIV - 1963.
  • Vol. IX: The Age of Voltaire - 1965.
  • Vol. X: Rousseau and Revolution - 1967.
  • Vol. XI: The Age of Napoleon - 1975.

The later volumes were co-written with his wife, Ariel Durant.

Durant received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 from President Gerald Ford.