What is reality? Ask yourself whether you can actually know the answer, much less be sure that you can know it, and you've begun to grapple with the metaphysical and epistemological quandaries that have occupied, teased, and tormented modern philosophy's greatest intellects since the dawn of modern science and a century before the Enlightenment.
These 36 lectures are the perfect introduction to the basics of modern and contemporary Western approaches to the philosophies of both reality (metaphysics) and knowledge (epistemology), right through the end of the 20th century. Led by Professor Cahoone, you'll partake in an engaging intellectual journey that encompasses prominent figures from all the major traditions of Western philosophy.
You'll explore the ideas behind modern philosophy's most important movements, including dualism, rationalism, empiricism, idealism, existentialism, and postmodernism. You'll plunge into the thought of some of philosophy's most important thinkers, including Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Peirce, Nietzsche, James, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Rorty, and Derrida, learning how many of them were in fact considered radicals, their views appreciated far less in their own era than in later ones.
And you'll gain a clear sense of how each of these movements and thinkers fits into philosophy's broader progression, often pushing philosophy in dramatically new directions right up to the present day, as well as how philosophy is intimately related to a multitude of other disciplines.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2010 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2010 The Great Courses
On the whole, I thought this was a worthwhile course. Although I was familiar with most of the philosophers and philosophical movements covered in the course, I got introduced to some I had not heard much about before. His summary of Hegel is particularly excellent, since Hegel is notoriously hard to summarize.
However, I admit to being rather disappointed by the lecturer's aside about "Foucault's exploration of sexuality - which he also explored in his personal life, and died of AIDS". I found this unnecessary and subtly homophobic. Furthermore, it had the effect of subtly eroding the potential validity, or objectivity of this theorist's work.
It was a little thing. But when I heard it, it disappointed me and forced me to question the objectivity of many of the lecturer's earlier assertions on philosophers I knew less about.
The depth of understanding Prof Cahoone conveys throughout the lectures. His love of the subject was expressed brilliantly and yet dispassionately. As the series was so enjoyable, I plan to listen to the whole series again.
This program surpassed my expectations, the most memorable part was the walk through Kierkegaard's dilemma, and the speaker was fantastic.
Professor Cahoone did an excellent job of reviewing modern analytic, continental, and pragmatic philosophy. And uniquely in my experience he didn't exhibit any obvious bias in his presentation of the widely varying views in these traditions and was actually able to illustrate some similarities, e.g. a convergence in the late 20th century towards a pragmatic view by a number of thinkers from different strains of philosophy.
The discussion of the re- emergence of emergence via complexity at various levels of organization was, I thought, particularly well done.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to better understand current discussions in philosophy.
I majored in philosophy many years ago and have kept up with it on an enthuisiast's level since then. However, I truly learned more from this set of lectures than I have from any other source. I think I finally understand the morass that is 20th century philosophical thought. Professor Cahoone is an exceptional teacher - lucid, knowledgable without being verbose, thoughtful and serious. Without a doubt the best Great Course I've audited.
If you want to understand the ideas that influence Western culture, this is an excellent survey.
Interesting material if a bit dense and difficult to understand at times though I attribute this more to the source material rather the lecturer. Overall, great series and look forward to more from this professor.
Anything that sets out to cover the history of modern philosophy in 18hrs is bound to encounter skepticism, but here we have a professor who not only understands how to teach, but understands how to communicate some of the most interesting, and most complex, theories developed in modern philosophy. You will naturally need to listen to these lectures over and over and over again, but you will undoubtedly leave each session with a greater and more comprehensive understanding of the subject than you had upon purchasing this audiobook. (That may be an overarching statement; essentially: great purchase, great audiobook).
This is one of the best audio books/courses available for download. I was a little dubious at first, not only because of its cerebral content, but also due to its length (30+ hours), but each lecture is a digestible 20-30 minutes. Worked into a daily routine, it's thus relatively easy to complete the full course in a matter of weeks - think of your daily commute to work!
I've some familiarity with modern philosophy, but felt that there were many holes in my knowledge. Cahoone's concise and accessible style has greatly helped me fill these gaps. I'm still very impressed by how he balances eloquence of articulation with clarity. The use of everyday examples to illustrate abstract concepts is very helpful.
"The lecturer doesn't simplify "
Cahoon is extremely knowledgeable, but his inability to explain this topic (which he knows very well) for non-experts makes him inappropriate for an audiobook on philosophy.
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