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The Great Conversation: Volume I: Pre-Socratics through Descartes / Edition 6

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Overview

Ideal for courses in ancient philosophy 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 sixth 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 among 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 sixth edition retains the distinctive feature of previous editions: 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. Ranging from the Pre-Socratics to Descartes, the selections are organized historically and include four complete works: Plato's Euthyphro, 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 twenty-five illustrations.

NEW TO THE SIXTH EDITION:

* Coverage of Taoism
* Key terms, boldfaced throughout and listed at chapter ends
* Brief and provocative quotations that stimulate thought and provoke questions
* A new section on how to read philosophy
* A new appendix: Writing a Philosophy Paper
* A Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/melchert featuring resources for students including key points, flashcards, multiple-choice questions, and Internet resources
* A revised Instructor's Manual and Test Bank containing key points, teaching suggestions, and multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay exam questions (available on the companion website and on CD)

Also available to suit your course needs: The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, Sixth Edition (combined volume covering the Pre-Socratics through Derrida, Quine, and Dennett) and The Great Conversation: Volume II: Descartes through Derrida and Quine (includes chapters 12-25 of the combined volume).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is certainly one of the best introductory texts on the market, possibly the best. For students who will take only one course in philosophy, this is the book that I would recommend; it will give them an excellent overview of more than two thousand years of philosophical debate."--Michael Henry, St. John's University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195397628
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/3/2010
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Norman Melchert is Selfridge Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and a former Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh University. He has also taught at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received awards for excellence in teaching at both universities. Dr. Melchert is the author of Who's to Say? A Dialogue on Relativism (1994) as well as numerous journal articles.

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Table of Contents

*=New to this edition

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