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Tracing the exchange of ideas between history's key philosophers, The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, Seventh Edition, demonstrates that while constructing an argument or making a claim, one philosopher almost always has others in mind. It 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?
Author Norman Melchert provides a generous selection of excerpts from major philosophical works and makes them more easily understandable to students with his lucid and engaging explanations. Extensive cross-referencing shows students how philosophers respond appreciatively or critically to the thoughts of other philosophers. The text is enhanced by two types of exercises--"Basic Questions" and "For Further Thought"--and numerous illustrations.
Also available to serve your course needs: The seventh editions of The Great Conversation: Volume I: Pre-Socratics through Descartes and The Great Conversation: Volume II: Descartes through Derrida and Quine
Norman Melchert is Selfridge Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and a former Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh University.
Table of Contents
*=New to this Edition A Word to Instructors A Word to Students Acknowledgments Timeline 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 Sketch: 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 The Key: An Ambiguity The World The Soul How to Live 3. The Sophists: Rhetoric and Relativism in Athens Democracy The Persian Wars The Sophists Rhetoric Relativism Physis and Nomos Athens and Sparta at War Aristophanes and Reaction 4. Socrates: To Know Oneself Character Is Socrates a Sophist? What Socrates "Knows" We Ought to Search for Truth Human Excellence Is Knowledge All Wrongdoing Is Due to Ignorance The Most Important Thing of All is to Care for Your Soul 5. The Trial and Death of Socrates Euthyphro Translator's Introduction The Dialogue Commentary and Questions Apology Translator's Introduction The Dialogue Commentary and Questions Crito Translator's Introduction The Dialogue Commentary and Questions Phaedo (Death Scene) Translator's Introduction The Dialogue Commentary and Questions 6. Plato: Knowing the Real and the Good Knowledge and Opinion Making the Distinction We Do Know Certain Truths The Objects of Knowledge The Reality of the Forms The World and the Forms How Forms Are Related to the World Lower and Higher Forms The Form of the Good The Love of Wisdom What Wisdom Is Love and Wisdom The Soul The Immortality of the Soul The Structure of the Soul Morality The State Problems with the Forms 7. Aristotle: The Reality of the World Aristotle and Plato Otherworldliness The Objects of Knowledge Human Nature Relativism and Skepticism Ethics Logic and Knowledge Terms and Statements Truth Reasons Why: The Syllogism Knowing First Principles The World Nature The Four "Becauses" Is There Purpose in Nature? Teleology First Philosophy Not Plato's Forms What of Mathematics? Substance and Form Pure Actualities God The Soul Levels of Soul Soul and Body Nous The Good Life Happiness Virtue or Excellence (Areté) The Role of Reason Responsibility The Highest Good 8. Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics: Happiness for the Many The Epicureans The Stoics *Profile: Marcus Aurelius The Skeptics 9. Jews and Christians: Sin, Salvation, and Love Background Jesus The Meaning of Jesus 10. Augustine: God and the Soul Wisdom, Happiness, and God God and the World The Great Chain of Being Evil Time Human Nature and Its Corruption Human Nature and Its Restoration Augustine on Relativism The Two Cities Augustine and the Philosophers Reason and Authority Intellect and Will Epicureans and Stoices 11. Anselm and Aquinas: Existence and Essence in God and the World Anselm: On That, Than Which No Greater Can Be Conceived Thomas Aquinas: Rethinking Aristotle Sketch: Avicenna (Ibn Sina) Philosophy and Theology Existence and Essence Sketch: Averro:es (Ibn Rushd) From Creation to God The Nature of God Sketch: Maimonides (Moses Ben Maimon) Humans: Their Souls Humans; Their Knowledge Humans: Their Good Ockham and Skeptical Doubts--Again 12. 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 13. René Descartes: Doubting Our Way to Certainty The Method Meditations on First Philosophy Meditation I Meditation II Meditation III Meditation IV Meditation V Meditation VI What Has Descartes Done? A New Ideal for Knowledge A New Vision of Reality Problems The Preeminence of Epistemology 14. Hobbes, Locke, and Berkeley: Materialism and the Beginnings of Empiricism Thomas Hobbes: Catching Persons in the Net of the New Science Method Minds and Motives Sketch: Francis Bacon The Natural Foundation of Moral Rules John Locke: Looking to Experience Origin of Ideas Idea of Substance Idea of the Soul Idea of Personal Identity Language and Essence The Extent of Knowledge Of Representative Government Of Toleration George Berkeley: Ideas into Things Abstract Ideas Ideas and Things God 15. 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 Sketch: The Buddha Rescuing Human Freedom Is It Reasonable to Believe in God? Understanding Morality Reason Is Not a Motivator The Origins of Moral Judgment Is Hume a Skeptic? 16. Immanuel Kant: Rehabilitating Reason (within Strict Limits) Critique Judgments Geometry, Mathematics, Space, and Time Common Sense, Science, and the A Priori Categories Sketch: Baruch Spinoza Phenomena and Noumena Sketch: Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz Reasoning and the Ideas of Metaphysics: God, World, and Soul The Soul The World and the Free Will God The Ontological Argument Reason and Morality The Good Will The Moral Law Sketch: Jean-Jacques Rousseau Autonomy Freedom 17. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Taking History Seriously Historical and Intellectual Context The French Revolution The Romantics Epistemology Internalized Sketch: Arthur Schopenhauer Self and Others Stoic and Skeptical Consciousness Hegel's Analysis of Christianity Reason and Reality: The Theory of Idealism Spirit Made Objective: The Social Character of Ethics History and Freedom 18. Kierkegaard and Marx: Two Ways to "Correct" Hegel Kierkegaard: On Individual Existence The Aesthetic The Ethical The Religious The Individual Marx: Beyond Alienation and Exploitation Alienation, Exploitation, and Private Property Communism 19. The Utilitarians: Moral Rules and the Happiness of All (Including Women) The Classic Utilitarians * Profile: Peter Singer The Rights of Women 20. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Value of Existence Pessimism and Tragedy Good-bye Real World The Death of God Revaluation of Values Master Morality/Slave Morality Profile: Iris Murdoch The Overman Affirming Eternal Recurrence 21. The Pragmatists: Thought and Action Charles Sanders Peirce Fixing Belief Belief and Doubt Truth and Reality Meaning Signs John Dewey The Impact of Darwin Naturalized Epistemology Sketch: William James Nature and Natural Science Value Naturalized 22. Ludwig Wittgenstein: Linguistic Analysis and Ordinary Language Language and Its Logic Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Sketch: Bertrand Russell Picturing Thought and Language Logical Truth Saying and Showing Setting the Limit to Thought Value and the Self Good and Evil, Happiness and Unhappiness The Unsayable Profile: The Logical Positivists Philosophical Investigations Philosophical Illusion Language-Games Naming and Meaning Family Resemblances The Continuity of Wittgenstein's Thought Profile: Zen Our Groundless Certainty 23. Martin Heidegger: The Meaning of Being What Is the Question? The Clue Phenomenology Being-in-the-World The "Who" of Dasein Modes of Disclosure Attunement Understanding Discourse Falling-Away Idle Talk Curiosity Ambiguity Care Death Conscience, Guilt, and Resoluteness Temporality as the Meaning of Care 24. Simone de Beauvoir: Existentialist, Feminist Ambiguity Profile: Jean-Paul Sartre Ethics Woman 25. Postmodernism: Derrida, Foucault, and Rorty Deconstruction: Jacques Derrida * Writing, Iterability, Difference * Deconstructing a Text * Knowledge and Power: Michel Foucault * Archaeology of Knowledge * Genealogy * Liberal Ironist: Richard Rorty * Contingency, Truth, and Anti-essentialism * Liberalism and the Hope of Solidarity * Relativism * 26. Physical Realism and the Mind: Quine, Dennett, Searle, Nagel, Jackson, and Chalmers Science, Common Sense, and Metaphysics: Willard van Orman Quine The Matter of Minds * Intentionality * Intentional Systems: Daniel Dennett The Chinese Room: John Searle Consciousness: Nagel, Jackson, Chalmers Afterword Appendix: Writing a Philosophy Paper Credits Glossary Index