Philosophic Classics: From Plato to Derrida (3rd Edition)

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9780130215321: Philosophic Classics: From Plato to Derrida (3rd Edition)

This anthology of readings in the survey of Western   philosophy--from the Ancient Greeks to the 20th Century--is designed to be accessible to today's readers. Striking a balance between major and minor figures, it features the best available translations of texts--complete works or complete selections of works--  which are both central to each philosopher's thought and are widely accepted as part of the canon.  The selections are readable and accessible, while still being faithful to the original. Includes Introductions to each historical period and to each philosopher, and an abundance of drawings, diagrams, photographs, and a timeline. This Combined Volume contains the most important works from Baird's Philosophic Classics, Volumes I-V.  ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY. Plato. Aristotle. HELLENISTIC PHILOSOPHY. Epicurus. Epictetus. Plotinus. MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY. Augustine. Boethius. Anselm (and Guanilo). Moses Maimonides. Thomas Aquinas. William of Ockham. Pico Della Mirandola. MODERN PHILOSOPHY. Ren Descartes. Thomas Hobbes. Blaise Pascal. Baruch Spinoza. John Locke. Gottfried Leibniz. George Berkeley. David Hume. Immanuel Kant. NINETEENTH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHY. G.W.F. Hegel. John Stuart Mill. Soren Kierkegaard. Karl Marx. Friedrich Nietzsche. TWENTIETH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHY. Edmund Husserl. Bertrand Russell. Martin Heidegger. Ludwig Wittgenstein. A.J. Ayer. Jean-Paul Sartre. Willard Van Orman Quine. Jacques Derrida.  For anyone interested in Philosophy, History of Philosophy, or History of Intellectual Thought.

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About the Author:

Forrest Baird has taught at Whitworth since 1978. In addition to teaching a variety of courses in philosophy, most summers he teaches for Fuller Theological Seminary in extension programs throughout the West. Dr. Baird has a B.A. from Westmont, an M.Div. From Fuller, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Baird's most recent scholarly work has been editing the six-volume Philosophic Classics series. His other works include editing the book, Human Thought and Action: Readings in Western Intellectual History, and co-authoring (with Jack Rogers) Introduction to Philosophy: A Case Study Approach.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

There is no better introduction to philosophy than to read some of the great philosophers. But few books are more difficult to read than Aristotle's Metaphysics or Spinoza's Ethics. Even works that are less puzzling are sometimes like snippets of a conversation that you overhear on entering a room: What is said is clear, only you cannot be sure you have got the point because you do not know just what has gone before. A slight point may be crucial to refute some earlier suggestion, and a seemingly pointless remark may contain a barbed allusion. As a result of this difficulty, some students of philosophy cry out for a simple summary of the "central doctrines" of the great philosophers. Yet carving up great books to excerpt essential doctrines is one of the greatest sins against the spirit of philosophy. If the reading of a whole Platonic dialogue leaves one more doubtful and less sure of oneself than the perusal of a brief summary, so much the better. It is part of the point of philosophy to make us a little less sure about things. After all, Socrates himself insisted that what distinguished him from other persons was not that he knew all, or even most, answers but rather that he realized his ignorance.

Still, one need not despair of joining this ongoing conversation. In the first place, you can get in near the beginning of this conversation by starting with Plato and moving on from there. Given that they are over two thousand years old, his early dialogues are surprisingly easy to follow. The later Platonic dialogues, Aristotle, and much which follows will be more difficult, but by that point you will have some idea of what the conversation is about.

Secondly, the structure of this book is designed to make this conversation accessible. There are section introductions and introductions to` the individual philosophers. These latter introductions are divided into three sections: (1) biographical (a glimpse of the life), (2) philosophical (a resume of the philosopher's thought), and (3) bibliographical (suggestions for further reading). To give a sense of the development of ideas, there are short representative passages from some of the less important, but transitional, thinkers. To make all the works more readable, most footnotes treating textual matters (variant readings, etc.) have been omitted and all Greek words have been transliterated and put in angle brackets. My goal throughout this volume is to be unobtrusive and allow you to hear, and perhaps join in, the ongoing conversation that is Western philosophy.

For this edition a number of small changes have been made including the addition of selections from Hildegard of Bingen, Descartes' correspondence with Princess Elizabeth, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, and additional material from Plato, Anselm, and Locke. The translations of Plato's Apology and Crito, Plotinus's Enneads, Anselm's Proslogion, Marx's Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, and Martin Hiedegger's Introduction to Metaphysics have also been changed. Throughout the editing of this edition, I have tried to follow the same three principles I used in the individual volumes of the Philosophic Classics series: (1) to use complete works or, where more appropriate, complete sections of works (2) in clear translations (3) of texts central to the thinker's philosophy or widely accepted as part of the "canon." Those who use this volume in a one-term introduction to philosophy, history of philosophy, or history of intellectual thought course will find more material here than can easily fit a normal semester. But this embarrassment of riches gives teachers some choice and, for those who offer the same course year after year, an opportunity to change the menu.

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