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The Great Conversation: Volume I Pre-Socratics through Descartes

ISBN: 9780195397628 | 0195397622
Edition: 6th
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pub. Date: 9/3/2010

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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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