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The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition | [The Great Courses]

The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition

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.
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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.

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.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Fred Davis, Awakening Clarity Now Columbia SC USA 03-26-15
    Fred Davis, Awakening Clarity Now Columbia SC USA 03-26-15 Member Since 2013

    Fred S. Davis

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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Raymond Terrace, Australia 03-26-15
    Mark Raymond Terrace, Australia 03-26-15
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    "A Great Introduction to Philosophy"

    Loved it! A fantastic look at how ideas have changed over time and the role of philosophy in understanding the world around us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arn M. 03-26-15
    Arn M. 03-26-15

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

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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Olsen Lehi, UT 03-23-15
    Andy Olsen Lehi, UT 03-23-15 Member Since 2014

    cynichic

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    "Great series of lectures."

    Professor Robinson has a strong clear voice and a discerning and sometimes biting wit, but always his passion for this venerable subject shines through. Great job Professor Daniels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian Puyallup, WA, United States 03-04-15
    brian Puyallup, WA, United States 03-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Slow and plodding"

    I feel like most of the content was interesting, and think that the survey of the material was at a reasonable level. But considering other excellent options from the Great Courses series, I can't recommend it. The pace that the instructor talks at is painfully slow, I had to turn it up to 2x just to put it a normal conversational speed. I also felt that there was too much moralizing and commentary on the different ideas. However, I think its fair that in many cases he speaks as if he is taking the view point of the philosophers he's discussing, and its just a simple outcome that we moderns would disagree with many older philosophical ideas and arguments.

    It would also have been very easy to include "Great Ideas" in philosophy that did not come solely from Greece or Western Europe. The series starts off with a reference to the Upanishads, but that's the last time you'll hear from a non-Western source.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeremy 07-29-14
    jeremy 07-29-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Entertaining, Delightful and Insightful"
    If you could sum up The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining, Delightful and Insightful


    What did you like best about this story?

    Its fluidity and cohesion made the story flow, while not leaving too distant of a historical gap between events.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed the scene on a happy death with Kleobis and Biton.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His whole section on Aristotle is particularly good


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saeed 06-14-14
    Saeed 06-14-14 Member Since 2014
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    "THIS IS A MUST"
    Any additional comments?

    If you are thinking whether to buy this course or not, just go ahead and buy it.I don't understand why anyone would give this a bad rating. Extremely intelligent and engaging narrator and extremely interesting material. this course is a must.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leah RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-04-14
    leah RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-04-14 Member Since 2014
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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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chase 04-27-14
    Chase 04-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "A perfect introduction to philosophy"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's mind-blowing. This book encompasses a huge amount of deep and difficult philosophical material, but in such a way that the listener doesn't get bogged down or intimidated. At the same time, it allows the listener to experience the same epiphanies one experiences reading some of these great ideas first-hand.


    What does Professor Daniel N. Robinson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Robinson's lectures are truly an art form. Philosophy is hard to do strictly from an audio format, but Robinson makes it a total pleasure.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This has been the most deeply fulfilling audible purchase I have listened to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer San Jose 03-18-14
    Amazon Customer San Jose 03-18-14 Member Since 2014

    Lifelong Student/Seeker.

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    "Knowledge, Conduct, Governance --> Philosophy!"

    It's a significant time commitment, but do not be deterred by this.

    There is much to say, but to borrow from Protagoras, given the "shortness of human life" I'll just say that for anyone interested in the story of who we are, and how we've come to be this way, this belongs in your library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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