The Great Conversation A Historical Introduction to Philosophy Volume I: Pre-Socratics through Descartes

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-09-07
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Now in its fifth edition, this historically organized introductory texttreats philosophy as a dramatic and continuous story--a conversation abouthumankind's deepest and most persistent concerns. Tracing the exchange of ideasbetween history's key philosophers, The Great Conversation: A HistoricalIntroduction to Philosophy, Fifth Edition, demonstrates that while constructingan 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 canwe know? How should we live? and What sort of reality do we inhabit?The fifth edition retains the distinctive feature of previous editions:author Norman Melchert provides a generous selection of excerpts from majorphilosophical works and makes them more easily understandable to students withhis lucid and engaging explanations. Ranging from the Pre-Socratics to Derridaand Quine, the selections are organized historically and include four completeworks: Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito, and Descartes' Meditations onFirst Philosophy. The author's commentary offers a rich intellectual andcultural context for the philosophical ideas conveyed in the excerpts. Extensivecross-referencing shows students how philosophers respond appreciatively orcritically to the thoughts of other philosophers. The text is enhanced by twotypes of exercises--"Basic Questions" and "For Further Thought"--and more thansixty illustrations.New to the Fifth Edition:* A new chapter (25) on Simone de Beauvoir and her contributions to philosophy* New material on Buddhist, Muslim, and Jewish thinkers, including profiles ofthe Buddha, Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Averroes (Ibn Rushd), and Maimonides (Moses benMaimon)* A new profile of Jean-Jacques Rousseau* Improved translations of several of Plato's works, including Protagoras,Gorgias, Phaedo, Symposium,Meno, and the Republic* Review questions that are now dispersed throughout the chapters (instead ofat chapter ends) to follow relevant passages and facilitate classroom discussion* Thirteen new images, including seven explanatory cartoons that help studentsunderstand key concepts* A revised Instructor's Manual and Test Bank containing essential points,teaching suggestions, and multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay examquestionsThe Great Conversation, Fifth Edition, is also available in two paperbackvolumes to suit your course needs. Volume I: Pre-Socratics through Descartesincludes chapters 1-13 of the combined volume, while Volume II: Descartesthrough Derrida and Quine includes chapters 12-26.

Author Biography

Norman Melchert is Selfridge Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and was Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh University

Table of Contents

A Word to Instructorsp. xiii
A Word to Studentsp. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
Before Philosophy: Myth in Hesiod and Homerp. 1
Hesiod: War among the Godsp. 2
Homer: Heroes, Gods, and Excellencep. 4
Philosophy Before Socratesp. 10
Thales: The One as Waterp. 11
Anaximander: The One as the Boundlessp. 12
Xenophanes: The Gods as Fictionsp. 14
Profile: Pythagorasp. 16
Heraclitus: Oneness in the Logosp. 19
Parmenides: Only the Onep. 24
Zeno: The Paradoxes of Common Sensep. 29
Atomism: The One and the Many Reconciledp. 30
The Key: An Ambiguityp. 31
The Worldp. 32
The Soulp. 33
How to Livep. 35
The Sophists: Rhetoric and Relativism in Athensp. 37
Democracyp. 37
The Persian Warsp. 38
The Sophistsp. 40
Rhetoricp. 42
Relativismp. 44
Physis and Nomosp. 45
Athens and Sparta at Warp. 50
Aristophanes and Reactionp. 54
Socrates: To Know Oneselfp. 59
Characterp. 60
Is Socrates a Sophist?p. 63
What Socrates "Knows"p. 66
We Ought to Search for Truthp. 67
Human Excellence is Knowledgep. 67
All Wrongdoing is Due to Ignorancep. 68
The Most Important Thing of All is to Care for Your Soulp. 69
The Trial and Death of Socratesp. 71
Euthyphrop. 71
Translator's Introductionp. 71
The Dialoguep. 72
Commentary and Questionsp. 80
Apologyp. 85
Translator's Introductionp. 85
The Dialoguep. 86
Commentary and Questionsp. 98
Critop. 103
Translator's Introductionp. 103
The Dialoguep. 104
Commentary and Questionsp. 110
Phaedo (Death Scene)p. 113
Translator's Introductionp. 113
The Dialogue (Selection)p. 113
Commentary and Questionsp. 115
Plato: Knowing the Real and the Goodp. 117
Knowledge and Opinionp. 118
Making the Distinctionp. 118
We Do Know Certain Truthsp. 120
The Objects of Knowledgep. 121
The Reality of the Formsp. 124
The World and the Formsp. 126
How Forms are Related to the Worldp. 126
Lower and Higher Formsp. 128
The Form of the Goodp. 130
The Love of Wisdomp. 133
What Wisdom isp. 133
Love and Wisdomp. 137
The Soulp. 141
The Immortality of the Soulp. 141
The Structure of the Soulp. 143
Moralityp. 145
The Statep. 150
Problems with the Formsp. 153
Aristotle: The Reality of the Worldp. 156
Aristotle and Platop. 156
Otherworldlinessp. 157
The Objects of Knowledgep. 157
Human Naturep. 157
Relativism and Skepticismp. 158
Ethicsp. 158
Logic and Knowledgep. 159
Terms and Statementsp. 160
Truthp. 162
Reasons Why: The Syllogismp. 163
Knowing First Principlesp. 166
The Worldp. 168
Naturep. 168
The Four "Becauses"p. 169
Is There Purpose in Nature?p. 171
Teleologyp. 172
First Philosophyp. 173
Not Plato's Formsp. 174
What of Mathematics?p. 175
Substance and Formp. 175
Pure Actualitiesp. 177
Godp. 177
The Soulp. 179
Levels of Soulp. 180
Soul and Bodyp. 181
Nousp. 183
The Good Lifep. 185
Happinessp. 186
Virtue or Excellence (Arete)p. 189
The Role of Reasonp. 191
Responsibilityp. 193
The Highest Goodp. 195
Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics: Happiness for the Manyp. 198
The Epicureansp. 199
The Stoicsp. 204
The Skepticsp. 209
The Christians: Sin, Salvation, and Lovep. 216
Backgroundp. 217
Jesusp. 219
The Meaning of Jesusp. 223
Augustine: God and the Soulp. 226
Wisdom, Happiness, and Godp. 232
The Interior Teacherp. 236
God and the Worldp. 238
The Great Chain of Beingp. 238
Evilp. 241
Timep. 242
Human Nature and Its Corruptionp. 246
Human Nature and Its Restorationp. 252
Augustine on Relativismp. 255
The Two Citiesp. 257
Christians and Philosophersp. 259
Reason and Authorityp. 259
Intellect and Willp. 261
Augustine on Epicureans and Stoicsp. 261
Anselm and Aquinas: Existence and Essence in God and the Worldp. 264
Anselm: On That, Than Which No Greater Can Be Conceivedp. 264
Thomas Aquinas: Rethinking Aristotlep. 269
Profile: Avicenna (Ibn Sina)p. 270
Philosophy and Theologyp. 271
Existence and Essencep. 272
Profile: Averroes (Ibn Rushd)p. 274
From Creation to Godp. 275
The Nature of Godp. 280
Profile: Maimonides (Moses Ben Maimon)p. 282
Humans: Their Soulsp. 283
Humans: Their Knowledgep. 285
Humans: Their Goodp. 287
Ockham and Skeptical Doubts-Againp. 292
Moving from Medieval to Modernp. 297
The World God Made for Usp. 298
The Humanistsp. 302
Reforming the Churchp. 304
Skeptical Thoughts Revivedp. 309
Copernicus to Kepler to Galileo: The Great Triple Playp. 312
Rene Descartes: Doubting Our Way to Certaintyp. 319
The Methodp. 321
Meditations: Commentary and Questionsp. 324
Meditations on First Philosophyp. 336
p. 336
p. 338
p. 341
p. 346
p. 349
p. 351
What Has Descartes Done?p. 356
A New Ideal for Knowledgep. 357
A New Vision of Realityp. 357
Problemsp. 358
The Preeminence of Epistemologyp. 359
Hobbes, Locke, and Berkeley: Materialism and the Beginnings of Empiricismp. 360
Thomas Hobbes: Catching Persons in the Net of the New Sciencep. 360
Methodp. 361
Minds and Motivesp. 362
Profile: Francis Baconp. 368
The Natural Foundation of Moral Rulesp. 369
John Locke: Looking to Experiencep. 372
Origin of Ideasp. 373
Idea of Substancep. 374
Idea of the Soulp. 376
Idea of Personal Identityp. 376
Language and Essencep. 378
The Extent of Knowledgep. 380
Of Representative Governmentp. 382
Of Tolerationp. 384
George Berkeley: Ideas into Thingsp. 385
Abstract Ideasp. 386
Ideas and Thingsp. 388
Godp. 393
David Hume: Unmasking the Pretensions of Reasonp. 397
How Newton Did Itp. 398
To Be the Newton of Human Naturep. 399
The Theory of Ideasp. 401
The Association of Ideasp. 402
Causation: The Very Ideap. 403
The Disappearing Selfp. 409
Profile: The Buddhap. 412
Rescuing Human Freedomp. 412
Is It Reasonable to Believe in God?p. 415
Understanding Moralityp. 419
Reason is Not a Motivatorp. 419
The Origins of Moral Judgmentp. 420
Is Hume a Skeptic?p. 423
Immanuel Kant: Rehabilitating Reason (Within Strict Limits)p. 426
Critiquep. 428
Judgmentsp. 429
Geometry, Mathematics, Space, and Timep. 431
Common Sense, Science, and the A Priori Categoriesp. 434
Profile: Baruch Spinozap. 438
Phenomena and Noumenap. 439
Profile: Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnizp. 440
Reasoning and the Ideas of Metaphysics: God, World, and Soulp. 442
The Soulp. 443
The World and the Free Willp. 444
Godp. 447
The Ontological Argumentp. 448
Reason and Moralityp. 450
The Good Willp. 451
The Moral Lawp. 453
Profile: Jean-Jacques Rousseaup. 455
Autonomyp. 456
Freedomp. 458
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Taking History Seriouslyp. 461
Historical and Intellectual Contextp. 462
The French Revolutionp. 462
The Romanticsp. 463
Epistemology Internalizedp. 464
Profile: Arthur Schopenhauerp. 465
Self and Othersp. 470
Stoic and Skeptical Consciousnessp. 473
Hegel's Analysis of Christianityp. 474
Reason and Reality: The Theory of Idealismp. 476
Spirit Made Objective: The Social Character of Ethicsp. 478
History and Freedomp. 484
Kierkegaard and Marx: Two Ways to "Correct" Hegelp. 488
Kierkegaard: On Individual Existencep. 488
The Aestheticp. 489
The Ethicalp. 492
The Religiousp. 496
The Individualp. 503
Marx: Beyond Alienation and Exploitationp. 507
Alienation, Exploitation, and Private Propertyp. 509
Communismp. 511
The Utilitarians: Moral Rules and the Happiness of All (Including Women)p. 515
The Classic Utilitariansp. 515
The Rights of Womenp. 525
Friedrich Nietzsche: The Value of Existencep. 533
Pessimism and Tragedyp. 534
Good-bye Real Worldp. 538
The Death of Godp. 542
Revaluation of Valuesp. 546
Master Morality/Slave Moralityp. 546
Our Moralityp. 549
The Overmanp. 552
Affirming Eternal Recurrencep. 560
The Pragmatists: Thought and Actionp. 565
Charles Sanders Peircep. 565
Fixing Beliefp. 566
Belief and Doubtp. 568
Truth and Realityp. 570
Meaningp. 574
Signsp. 578
John Deweyp. 580
The Impact of Darwinp. 580
Naturalized Epistemologyp. 582
Profile: William Jamesp. 583
Nature and Natural Sciencep. 585
Value Naturalizedp. 587
Analysis: Logical Atomism and the Logical Positivistsp. 593
Language and Its Logicp. 594
Profile: Bertrand Russellp. 596
Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicusp. 596
Picturingp. 599
Thought and Languagep. 601
Logical Truthp. 603
Saying and Showingp. 605
Setting the Limit to Thoughtp. 606
Value and the Selfp. 607
Good and Evil, Happiness and Unhappinessp. 610
The Unsayablep. 612
Logical Positivismp. 614
Ordinary Language: "This is Simply What I Do"p. 620
The Later Wittgenstein: Philosophical Investigationsp. 622
Philosophical Illusionp. 623
Language-Gamesp. 626
Ostensive Definitionsp. 628
Objectsp. 629
Family Resemblancesp. 630
The Continuity of Wittgenstein's Thoughtp. 633
Our Groundless Certaintyp. 635
Martin Heidegger: The Meaning of Beingp. 642
What Is the Question?p. 643
The Cluep. 644
Phenomenologyp. 647
Profile: Jean-Paul Sartrep. 648
Being-in-the-Worldp. 649
The "Who" of Daseinp. 654
Modes of Disclosurep. 657
Attunementp. 658
Understandingp. 660
Discoursep. 663
Falling-Awayp. 664
Idle Talkp. 664
Curiosityp. 665
Ambiguityp. 665
Carep. 666
Truthp. 667
Deathp. 669
Conscience, Guilt, and Resolutenessp. 671
Temporality as the Meaning of Carep. 673
The Priority of Beingp. 676
Simone De Beauvoir: Existentialist, Feministp. 684
Ambiguityp. 684
Ethicsp. 689
Womanp. 694
Postmodernism and Physical Realism: Derrida, Rorty, Quine, and Dennettp. 703
Postmodernismp. 703
Deconstruction: Jacques Derridap. 704
Liberal Ironist: Richard Rortyp. 713
Physical Realismp. 724
Science, Common Sense, and Metaphysics: Willard Van Orman Quinep. 725
The Matter of Minds: Daniel Dennettp. 736
Afterwordp. 745
Glossaryp. G-1
Creditsp. C-1
Indexp. I-1
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