Ideal for courses in introductory or ancient and medieval philosophy, The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, Volume I: Pre-Socratics through Descartes covers the same material as the first half (chapters 1-13) of author Norman Melchert's longer volume, The Great Conversation. Now in its fifth edition, this historically organized introductory text treats philosophy as a dramatic and continuous story--a conversation about humankind's deepest and most persistent concerns. Tracing the exchange of ideas between history's key philosophers, the book 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?The fifth edition retains the distinctive feature of previous editions: 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. Ranging from the Pre-Socratics to Descartes, the selections are organized historically and include four complete works: Plato'sEuthyphro, Apology, and Crito, and Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. The author's commentary offers a rich intellectual and cultural context for the philosophical ideas conveyed in the excerpts. 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 more than thirty-five illustrations.New to the Fifth Edition:* New profiles of Muslim and Jewish thinkers, including Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Averro's (Ibn Rushd), and Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon)* 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 of at chapter ends) to follow relevant passages and facilitate classroom discussion* Eight new images, including explanatory cartoons that help students understand key concepts* A revised Instructor's Manual and Test Bank containing essential points, teaching suggestions, and multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay exam questionsAlso available to suit your course needs: The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, Fifth Edition (combined volume covering the Pre-Socratics through Derrida and Quine) andThe Great Conversation: Volume II: Descartes through Derrida and Quine, Fifth Edition (includes chapters 12-26 of the combined volume).