Philosophical Conversations

Paperback | March 6, 2008

byNorman Melchert

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This brief and engaging introductory text treats philosophy as a dramatic and continuous story--a conversation about humankind's deepest and most persistent concerns, in which students are encouraged to participate. Tracing the exchange of ideas between history's key philosophers,Philosophical Conversations: A Concise Historical Introduction 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 Whatsort of reality do we inhabit? Throughout, author Norman Melchert provides a generous selection of excerpts from major philosophical works and makes them more easily understandable with his lucid explanations. Extensive cross-references highlight the organizing themes and show students howphilosophers have responded to each other's arguments. A more concise edition of Norman Melchert's The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, Fifth Edition, Philosophical Conversations is designed to be especially accessible and visually attractive to first- and second-year college students in introduction to philosophy courses.Enhanced by numerous pedagogical features, it offers: * Shorter and/or simplified presentations of much of the material * A second color that enlivens the text and makes it more visually interesting * An expanded art program featuring more than 100 photographs, illustrations, and cartoons * Classic art at the opening of each chapter * Numerous brief quotations from poets, politicians, and thinkers that underscore philosophical points and stimulate thought * Explanatory footnotes and basic study questions throughout * "Questions for Further Thought" at the end of each chapter * Key terms, boldfaced at their first appearance and collected at the end of each chapter and in a detailed glossary at the back of the book * "Sketches"--which provide glimpses of the ideas of various philosophers not already discussed in detail in the narrative--and "Profiles," which offer more in-depth looks at several thinkers, philosophical schools, and movements including Taoism, Zen, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Iris Murdoch

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This brief and engaging introductory text treats philosophy as a dramatic and continuous story--a conversation about humankind's deepest and most persistent concerns, in which students are encouraged to participate. Tracing the exchange of ideas between history's key philosophers,Philosophical Conversations: A Concise Historical Introd...

Norman Melchert is a Professor Emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:640 pages, 9.25 × 7.5 × 0.68 inPublished:March 6, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195328469

ISBN - 13:9780195328462

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Table of Contents

A Word to Instructors: A Word to Students: Acknowledgments: 1. BEFORE PHILOSOPHY: Myth in Hesiod and HomerHesiod: War among the GodsHomer: Heroes, Gods, and Excellence2. PHILOSOPHY BEFORE SOCRATESThales: The One as WaterAnaximander: The One as the BoundlessXenophanes: The Gods as FictionsSketches: PythagorasHeraclitus: Oneness in the LogosProfile: The TaoParmenides: Only the OneZeno: The Paradoxes of Common SenseAtomism: The One and the Many ReconciledThe Key: An Ambiguity: The World: The Soul: How to Live: 3. SOCRATES AND THE SOPHISTS: Rhetoric, Relativism, and the Search for TruthThe SophistsRhetoric: Relativism: Physis and NomosAthens and Sparta at WarSocratesCharacter: Is Socrates a Sophist?: What Socrates Knows: 4. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF SOCRATESEuthyphro: Apology: Translator's IntroductionThe DialogueCommentary and QuestionsCrito's VisitSocrates' Death5. PLATO: Knowing the Real and the GoodKnowledge and OpinionMaking the Distinction: We Do Know Certain Truths: The Objects of Knowledge: The Reality of the Forms: The World and the FormsHow Forms are Related to the World: Lower and Higher Forms: The Form of the Good: The Love of WisdomThe SoulThe Immortality of the Soul: The Structure of the Soul: MoralityThe StateProblems with the Forms6. ARISTOTLE: The Reality of the WorldAristotle and PlatoOtherworldliness: The Objects of Knowledge: Human Nature: Relativism and Skepticism: Ethics: Logic and KnowledgeTerms and Statements: Truth: Reasons Why: The Syllogism: Knowing First Principles: The WorldNature: The Four Becauses: Is There Purpose in Nature?: Teleology: First PhilosophySubstance and Form: Pure Actualities: God: The SoulLevels of Soul: Soul and Body: Nous: The Good LifeHappiness: Virtue or Excellence (Arete): The Role of Reason: Responsibility: The Highest Good: INTERLUDE 1: The SkepticsINTERLUDE 2: The ChristiansBackgroundJesusThe Meaning of Jesus7. AUGUSTINE: God and the SoulWisdom, Happiness, and GodGod and the WorldThe Great Chain of Being: Evil: Time: Human Nature and Its CorruptionHuman Nature and Its RestorationThe Two CitiesChristians and PhilosophersReason and Authority: Intellect and Will: 8. ANSELM AND AQUINAS: Arguing for the Existence of GodAnselm: On That Than Which No Greater Can Be ConceivedThomas Aquinas: Rethinking AristotlePhilosophy and Theology: Sketches: Avicenna (Ibn Sina)Existence and Essence: Sketches: Averroes (Ibn Rushd)From Creation to God: Sketches: Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon)INTERLUDE 3: MOVING FROM MEDIEVAL TO MODERNThe World God Made for UsThe HumanistsReforming the ChurchSkeptical Thoughts RevivedCopernicus to Kepler to Galileo: The Great Triple Play9. RENE DESCARTES: Doubting our Way to CertaintyThe MethodMeditations: Commentary and QuestionsMeditation I: Meditation II: Meditation III: Meditations IV through VI: What Has Descartes Done?A New Ideal for Knowledge: A New Vision of Reality: Problems: The Preeminence of Epistemology: 10. JOHN LOCKE: The Beginnings of EmpiricismOrigin of Ideas: Idea of Substance: Idea of Soul: Idea of Personal Identity: Profile: Thomas HobbesLanguage and Essence: The Extent of Knowledge: Of Representative Government: Of Toleration: Sketches: George Berkeley11. DAVID HUME: Unmasking the Pretensions of ReasonHow Newton Did ItTo Be the Newton of Human NatureThe Theory of IdeasThe Association of IdeasCausation: The Very IdeaThe Disappearing SelfSketches: The BuddhaRescuing Human FreedomIs It Reasonable to Believe in God?Understanding MoralityReason Is Not a Motivator: The Origins of Moral Judgment: Is Hume a Skeptic?12. IMMANUEL KANT: Rehabilitating Reason (Within Strict Limits)CritiqueJudgmentsGeometry, Mathematics, Space, and TimeCommon Sense, Science, and the A Priori CategoriesSketches: Baruch SpinozaPhenomena and NoumenaSketches: Gottfried Wilhelm von LeibnizReasoning and the Ideas of Metaphysics: God, World, and SoulThe Soul: The World and Free Will: God: The Ontological Argument: Reason and MoralityThe Good Will: The Moral Law: Sketches: Jean-Jacques RousseauAutonomy: Freedom: 13. HEGEL AND MARX: History and RevolutionHegel: Spirit, History, and FreedomPhenomenology: Sketches: Arthur SchopenhauerReason and Reality: The Theory of Idealism: History and Freedom: Marx: Beyond Alienation and ExploitationAlienation, Exploitation, and Private Property: Communism: 14. KIERKEGAARD AND NIETZSCHE: Christian and Anti-ChristianSoren Kierkegaard: On Individual ExistenceThe Aesthetic: The Ethical: The Religious: The Individual: Friedrich Nietzsche: The Value of ExistenceOvercoming Pessimism: Good-bye Real World: Revaluation of Values: Profile: Iris MurdochThe Overman: Affirming Eternal Recurrence: 15. THE UTILITARIANS: Moral Rules and the Happiness of All (Including Women)The Classic UtilitariansThe Rights of Women16. THE PRAGMATISTSCharles Sanders PeirceFixing Belief: Belief and Doubt: Truth and Reality: Meaning: Signs: John DeweyNaturalized Epistemology: Sketches: William JamesNature and Natural Science: Value Naturalized: 17. LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN: Linguistic Analysis and Ordinary LanguageLanguage and Its LogicSketches: Bertrand RussellTractatus Logico-Philosophicus: Picturing: Thought and Language: Logical Truth: Saying and Showing: Setting the Limit to Thought: Value and the Self: Good and Evil, Happiness and Unhappiness: The Unsayable: Profile: The Logical PositivistsPhilosophical Investigations: Philosophical Illusion: Language Games: Naming and Meaning: Family Resemblances: The Continuity of Wittgenstein's ThoughtProfile: ZenOur Groundless Certainty18. THE EXISTENTIALISTS: Heidegger, Sartre, de BeauvoirMartin Heidegger: The Meaning of BeingWhat Is the Question?: The Clue: Phenomenology: Being-in-the-World: The "Who" of Dasein: Modes of Disclosure: Falling Away: Care: Death: Conscience, Guilt, and Resoluteness: Temporality as the Meaning of Care: Profile: Jean-Paul SartreSimone de Beauvoir: The Priority of FreedomAmbiguity: Ethics: Woman: 19. POSTMODERNISM AND PHYSICAL REALISM: Derrida, Rorty, Quine, and DennettPostmodernismDeconstruction: Jacques Derrida: Profile: Richard RortyPhysical RealismScience, Common Sense, and Metaphysics: Willard van Orman Quine: The Matter of Minds: Daniel Dennett: Afterword: Glossary: Credits: Index: