The Great Conversation

The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction To Philosophy: Pre Socratics Through Descartes


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).



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  • Format: Paperback
  • Sold by: HPB Distribution Center
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  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
  • ISBN-13: 9780195306804
  • ISBN: 0195306805
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • Edition: 5


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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
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