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Now in its sixth edition, this historically organized introductory text treats philosophy as a dramatic and continuous story--a conversation about humankind's deepest and most persistent concerns. Tracing the exchange of ideas among history's key philosophers, The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, Sixth Edition, demonstrates that while constructing an argument or making a claim, one philosopher almost always has others in mind. The book addresses the fundamental questions of human life: Who are we? What can we know? How should we live? and What sort of reality do we inhabit? The sixth edition retains the distinctive feature of previous editions: author Norman Melchert provides a generous selection of excerpts from major philosophical works and makes them more easily understandable to students with his lucid and engaging explanations. Ranging from the Pre-Socratics to Derrida, Quine, and Dennett, the selections are organized historically and include four complete works: Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito, and Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. The author's commentary offers a rich intellectual and cultural context for the philosophical ideas conveyed in the excerpts. Extensive cross-referencing shows students how philosophers respond appreciatively or critically to the thoughts of other philosophers. The text is enhanced by two types of exercises--"Basic Questions" and "For Further Thought"--and fifty illustrations. NEW TO THE SIXTH EDITION: * Coverage of Taoism, Iris Murdoch, and Zen * An expanded portrait of Jean-Paul Sartre * A more concise, single-chapter treatment of Wittgenstein (Chapter 22) * Key terms, boldfaced throughout and listed at chapter ends * Brief and provocative quotations that stimulate thought and provoke questions * A new section on how to read philosophy * A new appendix: Writing a Philosophy Paper * A two-color format that enhances the text's visual appeal * A Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/melchert featuring resources for students including key points, flashcards, multiple-choice questions, and Internet resources * A revised Instructor's Manual and Test Bank (available on the companion website and on CD) containing key points, teaching suggestions, and multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay exam questions The Great Conversation, Sixth Edition, is also available in two paperback volumes to suit your course needs. Volume I: Pre-Socratics through Descartes includes chapters 1-13 of the combined volume, while Volume II: Descartes through Derrida and Quine includes chapters 12-25.