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The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy [Hardcover]

Norman Melchert

Price: 61.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy
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Book Description

7 July 2011 0195397614 978-0195397611 Sixth Edition
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.


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Review

"This is unquestionably the best philosophy textbook I have ever read. My students love the book. Melchert writes with utter clarity and his examples are superb. His careful choice of primary sources and brilliant use of them in his prose is nothing short of genius. Melchert's text shatters all of my textbook nightmares."--Thomas Bell, Brevard College

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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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Intro Philosophy Available 25 April 2011
By Richard Mansfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've now used three different editions of Norman Melchert's The Great Conversation in intro philosophy classes over the past few years, and I know of no better textbook for an introductory course. The new edition contains only minor updates and introduces a little bit of color to the the text (but not much), but the tweaks are minor because in its sixth edition, the book is quite "mature" in the sense that it has been honed into a very stable overview of philosophy.

Not only is the text itself very thorough, I've discovered that Melchert has a bit of a dry sense of humor that comes across now and then. I often see this more easily than my students. Melchert is an interesting individual whom I've corresponded with a couple of times. For those of us with faith concerns, he treats religious ideas with respect which is appreciated.

The textbook also has a website at the publisher's domain with study materials for students as well as notes and a test bank for instructors.

My copy didn't come from Amazon, but from the publisher since I get a free deskcopy. However, I'd gladly purchase my own copy if it came in a Kindle edition. This is Oxford's doing, not Amazon's, as I've talked to them (Oxford) repeatedly about the need for an ebook edition.

The only REASON I'm giving this book four stars instead of five is its lack of a Kindle version. The text itself really deserves five stars. I would encourage everyone reading this to click the link telling the publisher you'd like to read it on a Kindle.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better school textbooks I've used. 4 Aug 2013
By James Brazil - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I usually sell or give away textbooks once I've used them for a class, but this one is exceptional. It's a clear, thorough, and deep introduction to Philosophy. Despite not having any academic background in Philosophy, I quickly connected to the material in a powerful and meaningful way. I've been told that Oxford's textbooks can always be trusted, and this textbook only supports that claim.

On a technical side, I love the size of the book, the text, and the layout. It's aesthetic features are as pleasing as the quality of the content.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good one volume survey 26 Aug 2012
By David Stump - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
this is a very good one volume survey of philosophical thought and thinkers down through the centuries from ancient times and on up to the present. a studious and pondered read through this tour of philosophical thought will prove to be very helpful towards educating oneself on a panoramic view of the sweep of philosophical thought.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a very good History of Epistemology 16 Dec 2010
By Siwash - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This isn't really a book on the history of philosophy. . . it has a chief focus on epistemology. That's fine if you like epistemology, or if you feel undergraduates taking an introductory philosophy course care much about the search for certainty, belief, knowledge, etc. I don't think undergraduates find these topics compelling. Instead, they're more likely to get hooked on philosophy through ethics and politics.

It's wonderfully written, and thus enjoyable to read, even for PhDs! But this is useful for teaching the history of epistemology. Were I to use it again, I pull out a lot of supplemental material in ethics, logic and aesthetics.
5.0 out of 5 stars The first textbook I have enjoyed reading outside of class 27 Mar 2014
By WAKanost - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure if it's my interest in the subject matter, or the chronological approach, but I actually enjoy reading this textbook, whether I'm at home or I have downtime at work. While I have found individual chapters engrossing in some classes (world history, programming, biology), with this book I will sit down and read a couple of chapters in one sitting (and some of these chapters are fairly long). I rented this for class, but I'm considering purchasing it.
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