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neilium

Chicago, IL, United States
  • 5
  • reviews
  • 23
  • helpful votes
  • 15
  • ratings
  • Philosophy of Science

  • By: Jeffrey L. Kasser, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey L. Kasser
  • Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257

What makes science science? Why is science so successful? How do we distinguish science from pseudoscience? This exciting inquiry into the vigorous debate over the nature of science covers important philosophers such as Karl Popper, W. V. Quine, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Imre Lakatos, Carl Hempel, Nelson Goodman, and Bas van Fraassen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful series

  • By Claire C McLauchin on 06-24-15

Dense, difficult subject presented well

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-26-15

Any additional comments?

This was the most difficult Great Courses lecture series I've encountered yet. I gave the entire course a second listen and listened for a third or fourth time to several of the later lectures. After all that, I'd at best get a C if I had to take a test.

This is not to say that Professor Kasser does a poor job. He actually does a pretty stunning job of shining a light for the uninitiated on a very deep and fascinating subject. Seriously, it's quite an undertaking. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was surprised and entertained by the breadth of scope.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Enlightened Despots

  • By: Geoffrey Bruun
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21

From the death of Louis XIV in 1715 until the onset of the French Revolution in 1789, there occurred a profound evolution in the thinking of political philosophers, whose epoch is known as The Enlightenment. There were three men whose writings were to be most responsible for this intellectual whirlwind: Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Leaders that could have done better!

  • By Neil Chisholm on 06-26-13

great subject, overwrought prose, terrible reading

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-24-14

Any additional comments?

The subject is fascinating and worth exploring. The modern world is a continuing echo of the Enlightenment, and the despotic leaders profiled in this book are of no small importance to any student of history. That said, the writing style is overwrought and too clever by half. The narrator's performance is a bizarre attempt at goofball entertainment, with a cheeseball "voice of God" reverb used in place of quotes. The overall effect is embarrassing.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines

  • By: Patrick Grim, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Patrick Grim
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 698
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 619
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 604

The quest to understand the mind has motivated some of history's most profound thinkers. But only in our own time are we beginning to see the true complexity of this quest, as today's philosophers draw on the latest evidence from neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and other fields to probe deeply into the inner workings of the mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stellar Course!

  • By Douglas on 08-25-13

Outstanding lectures on a challenging topic

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-24-14

What does Professor Patrick Grim bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Patrick Grim doe a very good job of making these very complex ideas palpable to the non-scientist and non-philosopher. He sounds a little like John Lithgow (not a complaint, just an observation.)

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Rome, Inc.

  • The Rise and Fall of the First Multinational Corporation
  • By: Stanley Bing
  • Narrated by: Kerin McCue
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

New York Times best-selling author and world-class satirist Stanley Bing trains his savvy eye on the world’s first and most famous multinational corporation in this humorous and insightful volume. Here, he chronicles the great city of Rome from its humble beginnings to its monumental collapse due to greed, in-fighting, and general mismanagement. Rome, Inc. then becomes a powerful lesson for business leaders, documenting the many dos and don’ts of a successful corporation.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • pretty meh

  • By Ryan Anderson on 06-06-19

Predictable corporate humor for the witless

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-20-14

Any additional comments?

What could be a really important and interesting topic, that the Roman Empire was a multi-continent moneymaking venture and the first of its kind, is instead a slog through cheap jokes and lame pop culture references.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Deathride

  • Hitler vs. Stalin: The Eastern Front, 1941-1945
  • By: John Mosier
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 106

John Mosier presents a revisionist retelling of the war on the Eastern Front. The conventional wisdom is that Hitler was mad to think he could defeat the USSR, because of its vast size and population, and that the Battle of Stalingrad marked the turning point of the war. Neither statement is accurate, says Mosier; Hitler came very close to winning outright.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The tone grows wearisome after a few chapters

  • By neilium on 04-24-13

The tone grows wearisome after a few chapters

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-24-13

Any additional comments?

Any book on the subject of the Eastern Front of WWII is welcome. It's a part of WWII that for my generation (graduated college during the Cold War) was mostly ignored in history class. Yet it was the largest and deadliest theater of the war. However, Mosier's tone and pet phrases such as "You would think...but you'd be wrong", "Contrary to conventional wisdom..." gets more and more grating with each chapter.

Despite his insistence that he is speaking the truth against the official accepted history, much of his view of the Eastern Front is not unique or shocking. His scrutiny of evidence from the belligerents is biased to support his thesis (that the Germans were much closer to victory in the East, and that it was the Allied offensive in the West that compelled Germany to retreat in the East to better defend the West). Official Soviet numbers (from casualties to weapons production et al) are laboriously explained away as propaganda, but rarely is the same level of examination given to Nazi numbers. In fact, to support his contrarian view that German troops were not demoralized during their retreat Mosier refers to photos of happy German soldiers from that period. He insists without proof that they were candid and not staged, and somehow a handful of photos is a clear indicator of overall sangfroid up and down the German lines as they marched backwards through Poland.

Overall, I can't recommend this book. However, I will give Mosier credit for his insights at the end of Deathride. No single book could sum up what a tragedy the War was for the people of Eastern Europe, but Mosier's overview of the staggering human costs can be felt as it is read. His summary of the post-war consequences of Stalin is apt and thoughtful, too. The Soviet Union never recovered from the incalculable death and damage or the War, and Stalin's incompetence and ruinous policies that beat the Nazis led to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful