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The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition Lecture

The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition

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Publisher's Summary

Grasp the important ideas that have served as the backbone of philosophy across the ages with this extraordinary 60-lecture series. This is your opportunity to explore the enormous range of philosophical perspectives and ponder the most important and enduring of human questions - without spending your life poring over dense philosophical texts.

Professor Robinson guides you through more than 2,000 years of philosophical thinking and gives you a coherent, comprehensive, and beautifully articulated introduction to the great conversation of philosophy. Every lecture contains substance that can change your view of the world and its history.

You'll journey from the early philosophical ideas of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle; chart the origins of Christian philosophy and investigate the Islamic scholars who preserved and extended Greek thought during the Middle Ages; and venture through Enlightenment contributions to philosophy, from Francis Bacon to Locke, Hume, Kant, Mill, and Adam Smith.

Then shift your attention to the modern era, where you see groundbreaking ideas like psychoanalysis, pragmatism, and nihilism, as well as the collision between the inherently social understanding of meaning created by Wittgenstein, the vastly different estimation of human thought developed by the code-breaking genius Alan Turing, and the subtle response to him made by the American philosopher John Searle.

While the lectures cover an enormous range of key thinkers and ideas, they always focus on the most important ideas. The result is a course that gives you everything you need to finally grasp humanity's exciting philosophical history - without years of intense academic study and piles of dense reading.

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

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (554 )
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4.4 (491 )
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Performance
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  •  
    A Customer 03-26-15
    A Customer 03-26-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best course ever!"

    Best course ever! 30 hours of nonstop brilliance. I only wish I'd been able to attend these lectures in person.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. M. 03-26-15
    A. M. 03-26-15

    Geopolitics, history, and philosophy junkie. I love smoothly flowing prose that moves me effortlessly from one idea to the next.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Professor Daniel N. Robinson is brilliant!"
    Any additional comments?

    60 Lectures: not all equal in substance but certainly equal in quality. Prof. Robinson is subperb at the art of lecture. The material wasn't always great. The depth of the subject matter was lacking in some situations. I would recommend listening to this after fully investigating your subjects first. This will help remind you and round things out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian 06-03-14
    Ian 06-03-14 Member Since 2012
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    "The great ideas of philosophy: Christian edition."
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Daniel N. Robinson?

    Absolutely not. It started out in Greece and Rome not bad... but then Christianity came along and it became extremely biased and devoted to promoting the author's faith and its supposed genius.


    What three words best describe Professor Daniel N. Robinson’s performance?

    Passionate. Biased. Christian.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was very disappointed. He's intelligent and he has promise, but he sees the world through a "Christianity is perfect" lens which just does not make sense for a supposed critical-thinking piece of work.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't bother unless you're already very devoted to being Christian.

    40 of 62 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Eberman 03-07-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wordy and fairly content less."

    This Is a survey of thought from Homer to recent 20th century thought. Each lecture the presentation uses 10 words when 2 will do. it becomes quite tedious to listen to and the amount of information is small for such a large presentation.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leah RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-04-14
    leah RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-04-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It's okay"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Daniel N. Robinson?

    Great courses: yes. I'll avoid dr Robinson, however. He was difficult to listen to.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The title is misleading. It should be something like: Western European thought leaders.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    He was slow and did not hold my attention.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not saying it was awful, it was just not for me. According to this course no one out side of westerns had any thoughts on life worth covering. The 5 min devoted to the Middle East was to say that they were nothing more than stewards of the great ideas of Western Europe during the Middle Ages. Other than that: no contributions.

    The lack of attention to other cultures is at least one sided, but could be addressed in a better title. the way the Middle East was covered, however just seemed inappropriate, and insulting.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Bryan New York, New York United States 05-21-14
    J. Bryan New York, New York United States 05-21-14 Member Since 2012

    liking the sound

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting material. Out of touch professor"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I am fascinated by philosophy and it's history, but this treatment of it was an incredible waist of time. You hear very little interesting substance of philosophy. Also, let it be noted this is all Western Philosophy, which is fine, but philosophically speaking India and China were centuries ahead of the west for most of human history and that's where a lot of the good stuff is. There was also a Christian bent to the lecture which was distracting. It was weird to hear someone teach philosophy, while maintaining a religious circular logic. In fact in his grand conclusion for how to live the best life (as if there is one answer for everyone) he claims that happiness would be to live the life of Mother Teresa. This is a perfect example with the problem with Daniel Robinson. Mother Teresa struggled with horrible lifelong depression and misery (read her letters if you don't believe me.) I'm not sure if Robinson is unaware of this, if he thinks happiness is irrelevant to a good life, or if he simply thinks his listeners aren't aware. Either way, his conclusions are strange and he seems to try to wrap philosophy into a justification for Christianity. I'm not trying to knock his beliefs, but if I had to listen to class on philosophy as a way of justifying Islam or zoroastrianism I would find it pretty useless too. I don't know how this guy got to teach a class in anything.


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    Generally I love the great courses and look forward to the next one I listen to.


    How could the performance have been better?

    If the professor had stuck with philosophy and kept the theology to himself.


    What character would you cut from The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition?

    Democritus, Hume


    Any additional comments?

    Instead try "Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines" or just do Will Durant

    24 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brandi PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 09-26-16
    brandi PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 09-26-16 Member Since 2015

    Bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliantly taught/Explained perfectly"

    This series of lectures covers a vast amount of material, in an engaging and accessible way. I highly recommend it to those who are interested in philosophy and history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas H. 09-17-16
    Thomas H. 09-17-16
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    2
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    "Very good overview of philosophy"

    Good overview, but not exhaustive. Should probably have been titled "Great Ideas of Western Philosophy", since Eastern philosophy was untouched. Nevertheless, it was a good course, and I would attend more of Professor Robinson's lectures if I were attending his college.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse Agar 09-08-16
    Jesse Agar 09-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Genuinely sounds like he's making it up as he goes"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    More parsimonious would have been nice. This could have been half the length.


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    Yes


    Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Daniel N. Robinson’s performances?

    No


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition?

    Much of each lecture


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcello Marchese 09-03-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Difficult to follow"

    Some ideas are interesting but the narrator is difficult to follow. Also I think it focuses too long on the lives of the philosophers instead of their ideas as the title promises.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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