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Great Minds Of The Western Intellectual Tradition

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  65 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Presents lectures by Michael Sugrue and Darren Staloff. These lectures are based on their seminar course at Columbia University on Western intellectual history augmented by additional lectures by selected "guest" lecturers. Gives a guided tour through 3,000 years of Western thought.
Published 2000 by Teaching Co. (first published June 1992)
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Bob Nichols
Feb 19, 2012 Bob Nichols rated it liked it
This review only covers the Teaching Company Supplement, Part II (Course 010a, 1995) which surveys select 20th Century philosophers (Husserl, Heidegger, the Frankfurt School, Barthes, Rawls, Gouldner, Foucalt, Lyotard, and linguistic philosophy).

On the whole, the presentation and critique by the lecturers are excellent. The main stream in continental philosophy (Husserl, Heidegger, Frankfurt School) search, the lecturers say, for the "holy grail" of philosophy (universals, essences, permanent re
Jul 03, 2015 Gary rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best of the Great Course series available that I have listened to. They cover everything. Smartly they have multiple lecturers give different lectures that way no one person's prejudices gets in the way of the story being told. All of the different lectures seamlessly tie in to the next proceeding lecture. The story does tie together. I don't want to spoil ending, but boy as humankind advanced!

I was on the edge of my seat during each lecture, but when they got to the enlighten
Jul 05, 2015 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished re-listening to this 40+ hour lecture series. I got so much more out of it the second time around. This series is my favorite by far. Each lecture in the series ties together as a coherent whole and thus it might not be for all listeners since there is a necessary complexity for understanding the great minds through history. Many of the lectures within the series I have listened to already in the the original course they came from. But, I really appreciate this series as a whole ...more
Jon Stout
Nov 14, 2014 Jon Stout rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: autodidacts
Shelves: philosophy, audio
More lectures I listen to while I'm driving, this edition had 57 lectures in Parts I through V, and was quite an undertaking. Very uneven quality, with some of the lectures cannibalized from other courses so that they were out of context.

I got to like the main guys, Darren Staloff and Michael Sugrue, even though they were historians and not philosophers. They worked hard to engage their students and give a feel for their topics. One lecturer (who shall remain nameless) was wretched; others were
Edwin B
Dec 24, 2008 Edwin B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read parts III ("From the Renaissance to the Age of Reason"), IV ("The Enlightenment and Its Critics"), and VII ("The Crisis of Modernity") of this audiobook lecture series, which were the only parts currently available at my local library. I hope to catch the rest of the other parts when they get returned by the borrowers. It's ultimately better to hear lectures on philosophy than to read books on them. Somehow the complex discourses are easier to understand when a professor is verbally ...more
Hannah Peters
Dec 18, 2015 Hannah Peters rated it liked it
The misconceptions and biased interpretations made this very difficult to listen to. These professors claim to understand philosophy, but do not even take the time to properly explain counter-arguments as they are so caught up in their biblical interpretation of every concept.

There were some good lectures, but overall, I wouldn't recommend this as an introduction to great minds, better to listen to audio versions of a few of the authors' works than these overly religious interpretations of every
Jan 28, 2016 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to two or three lectures a day while out walking. That worked pretty well, though particularly when the lecturers got to late 20th century philosophers who were new to me I had trouble keeping track of who made which claims and where they fit in with other schools of thought. I was hoping for one or two summary lectures at the end--just to help with the big historical picture--but the series pretty much just...ended. Still, the lecturers plainly know their stuff and, yeah, I can always ...more
Elena Newton
This is just an ok set of lectures - for someone who's constantly looking to expand their perspectives, this was good, but there are *so* many philosophers covered and you don't really get anything but a brief highlight of each one. And, while it was good for me to get a refresher on who touted what mode of thinking, the book didn't do such a great job of illustrating how these great thinkers influenced western culture.

I highly recommend reading the Eastern Intellectual Traditions.

My next read -
Jul 27, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Makes the enormous body of work of western philosophy feel like a drama. Loved hearing one philosophical viewpoint, to be countered by another, to be returned to the original standpoint 800 years later, older and wiser. Love the breadth of span of western thought, and while the speaking quality did vary by the presenter's taste and inflection, the overall quality of the lectures was engaging and excellent.
Aug 13, 2015 Marcus rated it it was amazing
One of the best introductory courses on Philosophy ever assembled. I believe I listened to the 2nd edition... I most enjoyed the lectures on Marcus Aurelius and Augustine.
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