The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Times

Author : Will Durant (compiled by John Little)
Genre : History, Philosophy, Literature

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest teacher of them all? Browse through any of Will Durant’s works: The Story Of Philosophy (credited to have introduced more people to the subject of philosophy than any other work in the world), The Story Of Civilization (11 pain-staking volumes completed over fifty years of research) or this one, and we will know that Durant wins by a handsome margin. Winner of both The Pulitzer Prize and also The Medal Of Freedom, Durant combines deep cerebral knowledge with a poetry like prose, and tops it with a contagious passion to teach.

 If a man is fortunate he will, before he dies, gather up as much as he can of his civilized heritage and transmit it to his children. And to his final breath he will be grateful for this inexhaustible legacy, knowing that it is our nourishing mother”

This book is a compilation of his various Top Ten lists.

He starts with listing the Ten Greatest Thinkers, since our history is “but a history of our greatest men and women who have contributed to make the human race a little finer”. He celebrates Confucius for his moral philosophy devoid of any supernatural rewards; Plato for his Dialogues and Republic (Socrates is omitted because we know him through Plato); Aristotle for his sheer intellect and as a harbinger of science; Thomas Aquinas for valiantly trying to bridge science and belief; Copernicus for heralding the revolution of reason, secularism and modernity; and so on.