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For 3,000 years, mankind has grappled with fundamental questions about life. What is real? Who or what is God? When is it legitimate for one person to have power over others? What is justice? Beauty?
This 84-lecture, 12-professor tour of Western philosophical tradition covers more than 60 of history's greatest minds and brings you a comprehensive survey of the history of Western philosophy from its origins in classical Greece to the present.
It took 3,000 years for the debate chronicled in these lectures to reach maturity.
With this series of lectures, you can encompass it by the end of next month. You'll travel chronologically through the history of the Western world, charting the intriguing development of Western philosophy and drawing fascinating connections between thinkers separated by the gulf of time and space. You'll acquaint yourself with the Greek Pre-Socratics (the world's first scientific thinkers) and examine in detail the insights of three towering figures: Socrates, his student Plato, and Plato's student, Aristotle.
You'll examine the contributions to philosophy from biblical traditions and the great minds of the Christian age. Then, you'll mark the critical schism that developed between the claims of faith and those of science and participate in the breathless discovery found during the Enlightenment, which reveled in the new freedom of human potential and scientific expansion. You'll study the provocative philosophical responses (by the Existentialists and others) to the challenges raised by the new scientific consciousness. And you'll conclude with an overview of the work of Derrida and other late 20th-century philosophers and theorists.
The full list of lecturers includes Professors Alan Charles Kors, Darren Staloff, Dennis Dalton, Douglas Kellner, Jeremy Adams, Jeremy Shearmur, Kathleen M. Higgins, Louis Markos, Mark Risjord, Phillip Cary, Robert C. Solomon, and Robert H. Kane.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
What made the experience of listening to Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition the most enjoyable?
The breadth was quite strong until the later half of the eighteenth century. Up to that point, the impact of non-philosophical thought was given reasonable consideration: Copernicus and Newton for example. However, the impact and, to some degree, the writings of Darwin, Einstein, Heisenberg and Hubble, to name a few, were left out as the narrative focused more narrowly on work more explicitly labeled as modern philosophy.
What did you like best about this story?
The sense of continuity. It would have been unsurprising for a lengthy series of lectures by so many distinct academics to seem disjoint. This did not. Numerous references are made to previous lectures and far more to previous topics in a remarkably consistent fashion.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
One of the speakers gave the impression of being in a rush, needing to fit as much as possible in to the available time. He was very lucid and clear, which is good because the rushing could have made his fairly dense presentation hard to follow.1 problematic professor out of 12 is an excellent ratio.
If you could give Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition a new subtitle, what would it be?
Any additional comments?
BE AWARE!!The lack of the accompanying course notes is very unfortunate. I contacted The Great Courses and they refuse to provide the course notes to Audible customers. On the Audible site, the publisher's description ends with "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."
27 of 27 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I have recommended it to my friends, because this is, as far as I know, the best and most simultaneously accessible and comprehensive overview of philosophy that is available in the audio-book format. Furthermore, the fact that such a variety of scholars present the material is helpful: everyone seems to be an expert on the thing that they're talking about, and almost every one of the lectures is informative and interesting.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
The lectures on Nietzche, Rorty, Aquinas and Kierkegaard.
What about the narrators’s performance did you like?
They are all confident and clear in their presentation, and it seems obvious that they are all truly experts and experienced teachers.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
please provide a chapter to philosopher map - otherwise to look back at any single chapter is a real chore
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Prepare yourself for some sophisticated concepts. This is not your average audiobook, and if you want to get your money's worth you'll have to concentrate and often repeat certain lectures to fully understand all the interrelated concepts mentioned and discussed in it. And some lectures mention concepts that have been introduced in previous lectures, with little more than a quick recap. So better get your academia ready.
With multiple professors contributing, I couldn't help but notice that a few of them had certain pronunciation perks which started to bother me after a couple of courses they give. It shouldn't take too much value away, however.
19 of 24 people found this review helpful
I have never written a review in 5+ years of membership on the Audible site and hundreds of books read. However, I had to write one for this collection. I have spent years borrowing these titles from my local public library (all the way back to when they only had a limited array of cassette tape courses). Each course is like sitting in on a series of college lectures discussing the topic your choosing - at your pace - with no finals or tuition bills! For anyone on the fence about buying, don't wait, they are well worth it. These courses are going to cost me a lot of credits...
27 of 35 people found this review helpful
The speakers are all very good. They do mostly explain various pholosophers point of view. The one on Martin Luther was the best for me because it explained the mind and thoughts of Luther that brought about the Reformation.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I'm a fan of the Teaching Company and have purchased a lot of their courses. So it pains me to report that this course is not up to previous high standards. It covers way to much and fails to ties all the lessons together. There are themes in philosophy, but the numerous lectures too often are disjointed from these themes. The coverage is very wide, and as a consequence, the depth is minimal, and (unfortunately) too disjointed.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful
Paradigm altering. Really influenced how I think about western history and thought. Would recommend to anyone if they can get through all the length of the course.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What would have made Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition better?
The subject is very interesting, but the lectures are not from "the best college professors in the world" or even the United States. Some lectures are superficial, suited to high school level not college. They often fail to give the reader a feel for the true meaning and substance of a given philosopher, i.e., why should we care about this persons ideas and thoughts complete with illustrations of how these ideas live on today. The lectures on 20th century philosophers are as barren as 20th century philosophy--stick with the classics up to the 19th century. And, dump the fake clapping before and after each lecture.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful
An excellent series of philosophy lectures by some brilliant professors...this audio series is better than a first year philosophy college course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
There is something for everyone in this introduction to philosophy. I have a Masters Degree in the subject and bought this course as a refresher, overlooking some of the negative reviews from the hard-to-please crowd. That was the right choice. Here are my thoughts. The choice of philosophers was a good, including both the usual greats as a few surprises. The selection is well-balance across time (sampling each period from the pre-socratics to the present) and also across space, the different approaches to and branches of philosophy (from softer spiritual, ethical, and political questions to harder questions of analysis, knowledge, and science). This evenhandedness was quite an accomplishment in my opinion. In terms of rigour, the level is about right for this sort of course: there is plenty of substance for people with a background in philosophy yet beginners will also be able to enjoy and benefit from it. The fact that I am going to listen to it again is probably the surest sign that's it's achieved it's aim. Overall, a very solid and enriching course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This is a great resource and has given me a glimpse into profoundly deep thoughts from 3 thousand years of grear western minds. Many of these were not known to me before. So much material! Just thinly spread; despite many hours of lectures.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I would delete the chapters about the bible. It is not the result of a work of a great mind, whomever may have inspired it, and does not belong in this company. It seems almost propagandist placed in this context
What was most disappointing about The Great Courses’s story?
There are especially two Professors who get a lot of speaking time, but I am afraid are grating to listen to. One is Pr. Carrie, I am certain he is very knowledgable, but his habit of saying "right ?" after each sentence in certain parts which is really annoying, as if he is trying to convince the listener, or start a debate which is impossible to partake in. As most if not all of this subject is conjectural, and really the basis for debate, I wonder why he says "right?" all the time.. The other I think is a Pr Kors, I think his name was. His narration is so mechanical, and the voice so grating, that is is rather painful to listen to. My apologies to these gentleman, I do not mean to offend, but reviews are for truthful feedback. The material is at time difficult enough as it is, without the added distraction of difficult narrative style.The material is a bit cursory, but then it is a romp through the history of philosophy and one cannot expect more.
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?
That is difficult, but seeing that most of this is European history, someone with a British accent, and a more pleasant tone.
Was Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition worth the listening time?
1 of 5 people found this review helpful
This series really needs a chapter outline or third party guide to label the speaker and topic of each chapter.
Beyond this small gripe, the series is great, speakers and content are excellent, as is audio quality and execution. Based on this series I shall defiantly be purchasing more content from The Great Courses