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The Great Courses: Philosophy & Intellectual History


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  • Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World Through Experience and Reason

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor James Hall
    Overall
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    (48)
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    Everyone has to think in order to function in the world, but what is the best way to reason effectively in your pursuit of reliable beliefs and useful knowledge? What is the best way to prove a case, create a rule, solve a problem, justify an idea, invent a hypothesis, or evaluate an argument? In short, what is the best way to think? Professor Hall helps you cut through deception and faulty reasoning in these 24 humorous, clear, and interesting lectures, offering a friendly but intellectually rigorous approach to the problem of thinking. Among the topics you'll learn about are:. Deduction: This form of reasoning reaches a conclusion based on a set of premises; if the premises are true, then the conclusion necessarily follows.. Induction: Less ironclad than deduction, this approach surveys the evidence and then generalizes an explanation to account for it; the conclusion may be probable, but it is not certain.. Syllogism: This simple but powerful deductive argument offers two premises and a conclusion. An example: "All Greeks are mortals. All Athenians are Greeks. Therefore, all Athenians are mortals.". Dialectic: A question-and-answer dialogue, called dialectic, is valuable for uncovering first principles.. Venn diagrams: This technique uses overlapping circles to represent different classes of objects or ideas in order to clarify a syllogism.Some of the greatest philosophers who ever lived have used these tools to separate ideas that make sense from those that don't. Now you, too, can think more clearly, making better lives for ourselves and for those to come.

    Douglas says: "Wow!"
  • Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick Grim
    Overall
    (514)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (444)

    The quest to understand the mind has motivated some of history's most profound thinkers. But only in our own time are we beginning to see the true complexity of this quest, as today's philosophers draw on the latest evidence from neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and other fields to probe deeply into the inner workings of the mind.

    Douglas says: "Stellar Course!"
  • Jewish Intellectual History: 16th to 20th Century

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor David B. Ruderman
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    Over the last four centuries, a small group of thinkers attempted to answer a series of remarkably challenging questions: In a world having a history of untold suffering-especially, it seemed, for Jews-was the existence of an all-powerful and comforting God still tenable? What were the purpose and meaning of Jewish practices and customs? Could Jews still justify the notion of a chosen people in a social climate in which Jewish integration and full participation with the rest of humanity had become the norm?

    Yury says: "A Gem! Best treatment of material I've ever read."
  • The Rights of Man: Great Thinkers and Great Movements

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Paul Gordon Lauren
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    (30)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
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    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." These stirring words from the Declaration of Independence are a powerful statement of the importance of human rights in Western civilization. But many of the freedoms we enjoy today were not so "self-evident" to lawmakers throughout much of our history.

    marcelo velasquez says: "great set of lectures and a really good narrator"
  • The Conservative Tradition

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
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    Performance
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    (221)

    A thorough understanding of Conservatism's lineage, principles, and impact on history is essential to making sense of the 21st-century political dialogue-a dialogue that consumes the television you watch, the newspapers you read, and the radio you listen to.No matter where you place yourself on the ideological spectrum, these 36 lectures will intrigue you, engage you, and maybe even provoke you to think about this political philosophy in an entirely new way.

    Quaker says: "Another gem by Prof. Allitt & The Great Courses"
  • Consciousness and Its Implications

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Daniel N. Robinson
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (105)
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    (103)

    Consciousness, a unique and perplexing mental state, has been the subject of debate for philosophers and scientists for millennia. And while it is widely agreed within contemporary philosophy that consciousness is a problem whose solutions are likely to determine the fate of any number of other problems, there is no settled position on the ultimate nature of consciousness. This series of 12 penetrating and thought-provoking lectures by an acclaimed teacher and scholar approaches its subject directly and unflinchingly.

    Alexander C. Eustice says: "The Best"
  • Between Cross and Crescent: Jewish Civilization from Mohammed to Spinoza

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor David B. Ruderman
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (46)

    Experience the evolution of all of Jewish life during the 10 critical centuries from its rabbinic foundations in late antiquity until the dawn of modernity in the 17th century. During this time, Judaism was forever affected by its encounters with the surrounding social, economic, political, and intellectual environments of both medieval Islam and Christendom. As a result of those encounters, new pathways of philosophical inquiry and religious spirituality would be formed. The Hebrew language would find new ways of artistic expression. And the role of Jews in the life of the surrounding community would be changed forever.

    Andy says: "Fascinating and Comprehensible"
  • Greek Legacy: Classical Origins of the Modern World

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Daniel N. Robinson
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
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    Virtually all of the major building blocks of our culture (law, government, religion, science, medicine, drama, architecture, and more) derived ultimately from the ancient Greeks. In these 12 lectures, you'll explore the continuing influence of the classical Greek achievement on contemporary life. The point is not the often tedious claim that there is nothing new under the sun. Rather, it is to underscore the remarkable continuity of the Greek perspective and ethos preserved over several millennia.

    Richard Evans says: "Awesome!"
  • Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Luke Timothy Johnson
    • Narrated By Professor Luke Timothy Johnson
    Overall
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    These 24 inspiring lectures introduce you to the sages who, as a group, represent the "missing page" of the history of philosophy. Although their names are sometimes familiar to us, as in the case of Cicero and Plutarch, their philosophy is not. Studying these thinkers offers some surprising ways to think about philosophy. This course offers ample opportunity to hear, in their own words, the philosophers' prescriptions for healthier living.

    Joshua says: "Philosophy As Self-Improvement"
  • Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (43 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Alan Charles Kors, Professor Darren Staloff, Professor Dennis Dalton, and others
    Overall
    (404)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
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    For 3,000 years, mankind has grappled with fundamental questions about life. What is real? Who or what is God? When is it legitimate for one person to have power over others? What is justice? Beauty? This 84-lecture, 12-professor tour of Western philosophical tradition covers more than 60 of history's greatest minds and brings you a comprehensive survey of the history of Western philosophy from its origins in classical Greece to the present.

    Amazon Customer says: "A high-quality, college course without text or ref"
  • Life Lessons from the Great Myths

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor J. Rufus Fears
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
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    Change the way you think about some of the greatest stories ever told with this examination of the most important myths from more than 3,000 years of history. The ways in which the human imagination can transform historical events, people, and themes into powerful myths that endure through the ages is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

    David I. Williams says: "Amaznig series of Lectures"
  • Questions of Value

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick Grim
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (62)

    We live in a world seemingly dedicated to questions of fact and finance. What should I invest in? What school district is the house in? But the fundamental questions of our lives are actually questions of value: What makes life worth living? Are there values that transcend cultural differences? Is all value subjective?

    M. Conneely says: "Captivating"
  • Reason & Faith: Philosophy in the Middle Ages

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas Williams
    Overall
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    Performance
    (59)
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    Today we tend to separate questions of logic from questions of belief, philosophy from religion, reason from faith. But for 1,000 years during a pivotal era of Western thought, reason and faith went hand-in-hand in the search for answers to the most profound issues investigated by Christianity's most committed scholars.

    Mike says: "Professor Williams Blends Reason with History"
  • Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Michael Sugrue
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (196)

    These 16 lectures bring the Socratic quest for truth alive and explore ideas that are as vital today as they were 25 centuries ago. Ideas about truth, justice, love, beauty, courage, and wisdom that can change lives and reveal the world in new ways. Here, you'll delve into the inner structure, action, and meaning of 17 of Plato's greatest dialogues, making these lectures an indispensable companion for anyone interested in philosophy in general or Platonic thought in particular.

    ADRIAN says: "Easily the best audiobook in my collection"
  • Power over People: Classical and Modern Political Theory

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dennis Dalton
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (93)

    What is the connection between individual freedom and social and political authority? Are human beings fundamentally equal or unequal? In 16 in-depth lectures, Professor Dalton puts the key theories of power formulated by several of history's greatest minds within your reach. These lectures trace two distinct schools of political theory, idealism and realism, from their roots in ancient India and Greece through history and, ultimately, to their impact on the 20th century.

    Zachary Lank says: "Fantastic"
  • Philosophy, Religion, and the Meaning of Life

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Francis J. Ambrosio
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (50)

    What is the meaning of life? Is human existence meaningful or absurd? If you've ever pondered these questions, you have an extraordinary adventure in store, as an award-winning teacher presents a boldly revealing inquiry into these most fundamental of human concerns. In this inspiring series of 36 lectures, Professor Ambrosio charts how these questions have been pursued and grasped through the ages, providing you with the understanding and the tools to come to terms with them in a direct, practical way.

    Michael D. Mullen says: "Engaged Frustration!"
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