This course is a survey of Western Philosophy through the biographies of great philosophers. Why did Socrates chose to die, not to escape from jail? Is Plato responsible for the notion of Platonic love? What was Machiavelli’s appeal to leaders like Hitler and Stalin? Why was Spinoza excommunicated from the synagogue? Was Nietzsche's madness the inevitable result of his philosophy? Why did Sartre reject his Nobel Prize? These and many other issues will be discussed with references to a number of fundamental concepts and ideas which had a dramatic impact on Western civilization.