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.
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A high-quality, college course without text or ref
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.
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.
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.
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."
- Amazon Customer
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.
The lectures on Nietzche, Rorty, Aquinas and Kierkegaard.
They are all confident and clear in their presentation, and it seems obvious that they are all truly experts and experienced teachers.