Philosophical Conversations

Philosophical Conversations : A Concise Historical Introduction

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This brief and engaging introductory text treats philosophy as a dramatic and continuous story-a conversation about humankind's deepest and most persistent concerns, in which students are encouraged to participate. Tracing the exchange of ideas between history's key philosophers, Philosophical Conversations: A Concise Historical Introduction demonstrates that while constructing an argument or making a claim, one philosopher almost always has others in mind. The book addresses the fundamental questions of human life: Who are we? What can we know? How should we live? and What sort of reality do we inhabit? Throughout, author Norman Melchert provides a generous selection of excerpts from major philosophical works and makes them more easily understandable with his lucid explanations. Extensive cross-references highlight the organizing themes and show students how philosophers have responded to each other's arguments. A more concise edition of Norman Melchert's The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, Fifth Edition, Philosophical Conversations is designed to be especially accessible and visually attractive to first- and second-year college students in introduction to philosophy courses. Enhanced by numerous pedagogical features, it offers: * Shorter and/or simplified presentations of much of the material * A second color that enlivens the text and makes it more visually interesting * An expanded art program featuring more than 100 photographs, illustrations, and cartoons * Classic art at the opening of each chapter * Numerous brief quotations from poets, politicians, and thinkers that underscore philosophical points and stimulate thought * Explanatory footnotes and basic study questions throughout * "Questions for Further Thought" at the end of each chapter * Key terms, boldfaced at their first appearance and collected at the end of each chapter and in a detailed glossary at the back of the book * "Sketches"-which provide glimpses of the ideas of various philosophers not already discussed in detail in the narrative-and "Profiles," which offer more in-depth looks at several thinkers, philosophical schools, and movements including Taoism, Zen, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Iris Murdoch * An Instructor's Manual and Test Bank on CD that highlights essential points and offers numerous exam questionsshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 624 pages
  • 190.5 x 228.6 x 27.94mm | 952.54g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 55 illus.
  • 0195328469
  • 9780195328462
  • 1,986,081

Table of contents

1. BEFORE PHILOSOPHY: MYTH IN HESIOD AND HOMER ; Hesiod: War among the Gods ; Homer: Heroes, Gods, and Excellence ; 2. PHILOSOPHY BEFORE SOCRATES ; Thales: The One as Water ; Anaximander: The One as the Boundless ; Xenophanes: The Gods as Fictions ; SKETCHES: PYTHAGORAS ; Heraclitus: Oneness in the Logos ; PROFILE: THE TAO ; Parmenides: Only the One ; Zeno: The Paradoxes of Common Sense ; Atomism: The One and the Many Reconciled ; 3. SOCRATES AND THE SOPHISTS: RHETORIC, RELATIVISM, AND THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH ; The Sophists ; Physis and Nomos ; Athens and Sparta at War ; Socrates ; 4. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF SOCRATES ; Translator's Introduction ; The Dialogue ; Commentary and Questions ; Crito's Visit ; Socrates' Death ; 5. PLATO: KNOWING THE REAL AND THE GOOD ; Knowledge and Opinion ; The World and the Forms ; The Love of Wisdom ; The Soul ; Morality ; The State ; Problems with the Forms ; 6. ARISTOTLE: THE REALITY OF THE WORLD ; Aristotle and Plato ; Logic and Knowledge ; The World ; First Philosophy ; The Soul ; The Good Life ; INTERLUDE 1: THE SKEPTICS ; INTERLUDE 2: THE CHRISTIANS ; Background ; Jesus ; The Meaning of Jesus ; 7. AUGUSTINE: GOD AND THE SOUL ; Wisdom, Happiness, and God ; God and the World ; Human Nature and Its Corruption ; Human Nature and Its Restoration ; The Two Cities ; Christians and Philosophers ; 8. ANSELM AND AQUINAS: ARGUING FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD ; Anselm: On That Than Which No Greater Can Be Conceived ; Thomas Aquinas: Rethinking Aristotle ; SKETCHES: AVICENNA (IBN SINA) ; SKETCHES: AVERROES (IBN RUSHD) ; SKETCHES: MAIMONIDES (MOSES BEN MAIMON) ; INTERLUDE 3: MOVING FROM MEDIEVAL TO MODERN ; The World God Made for Us ; The Humanists ; Reforming the Church ; Skeptical Thoughts Revived ; Copernicus to Kepler to Galileo: The Great Triple Play ; 9. RENE DESCARTES: DOUBTING OUR WAY TO CERTAINTY ; The Method ; Meditations: Commentary and Questions ; What Has Descartes Done? ; 10. JOHN LOCKE: THE BEGINNINGS OF EMPIRICISM ; PROFILE: THOMAS HOBBES ; SKETCHES: GEORGE BERKELEY ; 11. DAVID HUME: UNMASKING THE PRETENSIONS OF REASON ; How Newton Did It ; To Be the Newton of Human Nature ; The Theory of Ideas ; The Association of Ideas ; Causation: The Very Idea ; The Disappearing Self ; SKETCHES: THE BUDDHA ; Rescuing Human Freedom ; Is It Reasonable to Believe in God? ; Understanding Morality ; Is Hume a Skeptic? ; 12. IMMANUEL KANT: REHABILITATING REASON (WITHIN STRICT LIMITS) ; Critique ; Judgments ; Geometry, Mathematics, Space, and Time ; Common Sense, Science, and the A Priori Categories ; SKETCHES: BARUCH SPINOZA ; Phenomena and Noumena ; SKETCHES: GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNIZ ; Reasoning and the Ideas of Metaphysics: God, World, and Soul ; Reason and Morality ; SKETCHES: JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU ; 13. HEGEL AND MARX: HISTORY AND REVOLUTION ; Hegel: Spirit, History, and Freedom ; SKETCHES: ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER ; Marx: Beyond Alienation and Exploitation ; 14. KIERKEGAARD AND NIETZSCHE: CHRISTIAN AND ANTI-CHRISTIAN ; Soren Kierkegaard: On Individual Existence ; Friedrich Nietzsche: The Value of Existence ; PROFILE: IRIS MURDOCH ; 15. THE UTILITARIANS: MORAL RULES AND THE HAPPINESS OF ALL (INCLUDING WOMEN) ; The Classic Utilitarians ; The Rights of Women ; 16. THE PRAGMATISTS ; Charles Sanders Peirce ; John Dewey ; SKETCHES: WILLIAM JAMES ; 17. LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN: LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS AND ORDINARY LANGUAGE ; Language and Its Logic ; SKETCHES: BERTRAND RUSSELL ; PROFILE: THE LOGICAL POSITIVISTS ; The Continuity of Wittgenstein's Thought ; PROFILE: ZEN ; Our Groundless Certainty ; 18. THE EXISTENTIALISTS: HEIDEGGER, SARTRE, DE BEAUVOIR ; Martin Heidegger: The Meaning of Being ; PROFILE: JEAN-PAUL SARTRE ; Simone de Beauvoir: The Priority of Freedom ; 19. POSTMODERNISM AND PHYSICAL REALISM: DERRIDA, RORTY, QUINE, AND DENNETT ; Postmodernism ; PROFILE: RICHARD RORTY ; Physical Realismshow more

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