, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization
, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant
and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for The Story of Philosophy
, written in 1926, which one observer described as "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy."
He conceived of philosophy as total perspective, or, seeing things "sub specie totius," a phrase derived from Spinoza's "sub specie aeternitatis." He sought to unify and humanize the great body of historical knowledge, which had grown too voluminous and become fragmented into esoteric specialties, and to vitalize it for contemporary application.
The only real revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionaries are philosophers and saints.
It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to the west, such gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all numerals and the decimal system.
Rooted in freedom, bonded in the fellowship of danger, sharing everywhere a common human blood, we declare again that all men are brothers, and that mutual tolerance is the price of liberty.