The Great Conversation : A Historical Introduction to Philosophy

Norman Melchert

ISBN 10: 0195397614 / ISBN 13: 9780195397611
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Synopsis: 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 Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, Sixth Edition, demonstrates that while constructing an 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 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 Derrida, Quine, and Dennett, 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 fifty illustrations.

NEW TO THE SIXTH EDITION:

* Coverage of Taoism, Iris Murdoch, and Zen
* An expanded portrait of Jean-Paul Sartre
* A more concise, single-chapter treatment of Wittgenstein (Chapter 22)
* 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 two-color format that enhances the text's visual appeal
* 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 (available on the companion website and on CD) containing key points, teaching suggestions, and multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay exam questions

The Great Conversation, Sixth Edition, is also available in two paperback volumes to suit your course needs. Volume I: Pre-Socratics through Descartes includes chapters 1-13 of the combined volume, while Volume II: Descartes through Derrida and Quine includes chapters 12-25.

About 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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