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Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition | [The Great Courses]

Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

It took 3,000 years for the debate chronicled in these lectures to reach maturity.

With this series of lectures, you can encompass it by the end of next month. You'll travel chronologically through the history of the Western world, charting the intriguing development of Western philosophy and drawing fascinating connections between thinkers separated by the gulf of time and space. You'll acquaint yourself with the Greek Pre-Socratics (the world's first scientific thinkers) and examine in detail the insights of three towering figures: Socrates, his student Plato, and Plato's student, Aristotle.

You'll examine the contributions to philosophy from biblical traditions and the great minds of the Christian age. Then, you'll mark the critical schism that developed between the claims of faith and those of science and participate in the breathless discovery found during the Enlightenment, which reveled in the new freedom of human potential and scientific expansion. You'll study the provocative philosophical responses (by the Existentialists and others) to the challenges raised by the new scientific consciousness. And you'll conclude with an overview of the work of Derrida and other late 20th-century philosophers and theorists.

The full list of lecturers includes Professors Alan Charles Kors, Darren Staloff, Dennis Dalton, Douglas Kellner, Jeremy Adams, Jeremy Shearmur, Kathleen M. Higgins, Louis Markos, Mark Risjord, Phillip Cary, Robert C. Solomon, and Robert H. Kane.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses

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  •  
    James ROCHESTER, NY, United States 08-25-13
    James ROCHESTER, NY, United States 08-25-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic overview"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended it to my friends, because this is, as far as I know, the best and most simultaneously accessible and comprehensive overview of philosophy that is available in the audio-book format. Furthermore, the fact that such a variety of scholars present the material is helpful: everyone seems to be an expert on the thing that they're talking about, and almost every one of the lectures is informative and interesting.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The lectures on Nietzche, Rorty, Aquinas and Kierkegaard.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    They are all confident and clear in their presentation, and it seems obvious that they are all truly experts and experienced teachers.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-28-15

    Jaime, road cyclist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    2
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    "A high-quality, college course without text or ref"
    What made the experience of listening to Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition the most enjoyable?

    The breadth was quite strong until the later half of the eighteenth century. Up to that point, the impact of non-philosophical thought was given reasonable consideration: Copernicus and Newton for example. However, the impact and, to some degree, the writings of Darwin, Einstein, Heisenberg and Hubble, to name a few, were left out as the narrative focused more narrowly on work more explicitly labeled as modern philosophy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The sense of continuity. It would have been unsurprising for a lengthy series of lectures by so many distinct academics to seem disjoint. This did not. Numerous references are made to previous lectures and far more to previous topics in a remarkably consistent fashion.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    One of the speakers gave the impression of being in a rush, needing to fit as much as possible in to the available time. He was very lucid and clear, which is good because the rushing could have made his fairly dense presentation hard to follow.1 problematic professor out of 12 is an excellent ratio.


    If you could give Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition a new subtitle, what would it be?

    None needed.


    Any additional comments?

    BE AWARE!!The lack of the accompanying course notes is very unfortunate. I contacted The Great Courses and they refuse to provide the course notes to Audible customers. On the Audible site, the publisher's description ends with "Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase."

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Wilkening Palo Alto, CA 01-19-15
    D. Wilkening Palo Alto, CA 01-19-15 Member Since 2015

    Dean W.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    7
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    "Uneven Lectures"
    What would have made Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition better?

    The subject is very interesting, but the lectures are not from "the best college professors in the world" or even the United States. Some lectures are superficial, suited to high school level not college. They often fail to give the reader a feel for the true meaning and substance of a given philosopher, i.e., why should we care about this persons ideas and thoughts complete with illustrations of how these ideas live on today. The lectures on 20th century philosophers are as barren as 20th century philosophy--stick with the classics up to the 19th century. And, dump the fake clapping before and after each lecture.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 11-27-13
    Saud 11-27-13

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    859
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    370
    301
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    77
    71
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Your Mileage May Vary"

    Prepare yourself for some sophisticated concepts. This is not your average audiobook, and if you want to get your money's worth you'll have to concentrate and often repeat certain lectures to fully understand all the interrelated concepts mentioned and discussed in it. And some lectures mention concepts that have been introduced in previous lectures, with little more than a quick recap. So better get your academia ready.

    With multiple professors contributing, I couldn't help but notice that a few of them had certain pronunciation perks which started to bother me after a couple of courses they give. It shouldn't take too much value away, however.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 07-10-13
    Daniel 07-10-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "FINALLY!!"

    I have never written a review in 5+ years of membership on the Audible site and hundreds of books read. However, I had to write one for this collection. I have spent years borrowing these titles from my local public library (all the way back to when they only had a limited array of cassette tape courses). Each course is like sitting in on a series of college lectures discussing the topic your choosing - at your pace - with no finals or tuition bills! For anyone on the fence about buying, don't wait, they are well worth it. These courses are going to cost me a lot of credits...

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 12-22-14
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 12-22-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Way too-too much"

    I'm a fan of the Teaching Company and have purchased a lot of their courses. So it pains me to report that this course is not up to previous high standards. It covers way to much and fails to ties all the lessons together. There are themes in philosophy, but the numerous lectures too often are disjointed from these themes. The coverage is very wide, and as a consequence, the depth is minimal, and (unfortunately) too disjointed.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt717 LA 07-22-15
    Matt717 LA 07-22-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "Pretty Good"

    The speakers are all very good. They do mostly explain various pholosophers point of view. The one on Martin Luther was the best for me because it explained the mind and thoughts of Luther that brought about the Reformation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rajmohan Harindranath 06-13-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    7
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    "One request"

    please provide a chapter to philosopher map - otherwise to look back at any single chapter is a real chore

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gil Rosado 04-10-15
    Gil Rosado 04-10-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "SIMPLY OUTSTANDING!!!"

    An excellent series of philosophy lectures by some brilliant professors...this audio series is better than a first year philosophy college course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sduindam 10-26-14
    Sduindam 10-26-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Overall "meh" feeling"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or the narrators?

    Probably. The quality of speakers and recordings is great. You can hear the excitement of the narrators on their topic of discussion. The problem is that it provides little in depth knowledge on the subjects, leaving the listener always wanting more. Perhaps that is what this kind of survey approach is going for, likely even, but it didn't feel like enough for me personally.


    Has Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Nope


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    No story at all. Though there is some emergent narrative.


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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