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Published: 17 September 2018

800 Pages

7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780190670610

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (04)

The Great Conversation

A Historical Introduction to Philosophy

Eighth Edition

Norman Melchert and David R. Morrow

  • Presents philosophy as an ongoing conversation among philosophers about people's deepest concerns and questions
  • Provides historical and cultural context for the philosophical ideas being presented throughout, especially in Chapter 1, Before Philosophy: Myth in Hesiod and Homer; Chapter 14, Philosophy in the Islamic World: The Great Conversation Spreads Out; and Chapter 16, From Medieval to Modern Europe
  • Cross-referencing enables students to see how various thinkers built off of one another's ideas and diverged or agreed on particular topics
  • Includes a generous, well-selected array of excerpts from major philosophical works
  • The excerpts and the authors' discussion complement each other to provide historical and cultural context for the philosophical ideas
  • Review questions follow key passages and facilitate classroom discussions
  • Each chapter ends with two types of exercises--"Basic Questions" and "For Further Thought"--for use in small group discussions or papers
  • A "How to Read Philosophy" section in the preface lets students know what to expect
  • A "Writing a Philosophy Paper" section in the appendix offers much-needed pointers for writing in this genre
  • A free, open-access Companion Website provides students with essential points and self-quizzes

New to this Edition:

  • Streamlined chapters that provide more accessible and focused content
  • Three new chapters on the beginnings of philosophical conversations in India and China: Chapter 3, "Appearance and Reality in Ancient India"; Chapter 5, "Reason and Relativism in China"; and Chapter 10, "Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi: Virtue in Ancient China"
  • A new chapter devoted entirely to philosophy in the Islamic world: Chapter 14, "Philosophy in the Islamic World: The Great Conversation Spreads Out"
  • A section on Hildegard of Bingen in a chapter on medieval thought, new Sketches of Hypatia and Margaret Cavendish, and a Profile of Émilie du Chåtelet

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Arts & Humanities > Philosophy