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The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition Lecture
The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition
Written by: 
The Great Courses
Narrated by: 
Professor Daniel N. Robinson
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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

4.3 (497 )
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4.4 (439 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Deep Reader 01-23-14
    Deep Reader 01-23-14

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1142
    ratings
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    324
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    "An overview of Western philosophy"

    With the exception of a single lecture about Islam, this course focuses on European and American philosophy. While it is good and detailed about Western philosophy, I was hoping for an all-encompassing look at global philosophy.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian 06-03-14
    Ian 06-03-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    38 of 57 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

    21 of 34 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.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas 07-28-16
    Douglas 07-28-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Boring and sleepy"

    Boring and sleepy
    I didn't want a story.
    It didn't go in depth enough in philosophy to really learn much.
    If you want to learn, it's a waste of time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew M. 07-20-16
    Andrew M. 07-20-16
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    "A momentous and incredible listen"
    If you could sum up The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition in three words, what would they be?

    This goes beyond philosophy into human understanding of the history of great thoughts of philosophy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany Lohrer 07-18-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    3
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    "Interesting lectures but poor presentation"

    The professor has a tendency to digress in to often loosely or completely unrelated subjects.
    Very interesting material though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julio Gerardo 06-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Perfect as an introduction to great ideas! "

    Mostly western but very rich to impulse curious minds that want a more profound knowledge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deedra B. 06-10-16
    Deedra B. 06-10-16
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    5
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    "unbelievablely good"

    I hope that at least a small fraction of this knowledge will stick with me, and enlightenen my future endeavors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 06-01-16
    Susan 06-01-16 Member Since 2015
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    7
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    "Great teacher"

    I would love to sit in this man's classroom. He brought each idea alive making me see it. I could even see the possibilities of conflicting ideas. His manner was engaging and conversational.

    It is long and I couldn't listen to the whole thing without listening to something else between episodes but this course is definitely a keeper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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