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Norman Melchert (born 1933) is a philosopher and author. He taught at Lehigh University from 1962 until his retirement in 1995. He is the author of several books, the most notable of which is his introduction to philosophy, The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy.
A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term "philosopher" comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος (philosophos), meaning "lover of wisdom". The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.
Lehigh University is a private research university in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1865 by businessman Asa Packer. Its undergraduate programs have been coeducational since the 1971–72 academic year. As of 2019, the university had 5,047 undergraduate students and 1,942 graduate students.
Norman Melchert was born in 1933 in Waterloo, Iowa. The son of a prominent Lutheran minister, Christian thought has been a strong influence on his life, thought, and works.
Waterloo is a city in and the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the population decreased by 0.5% to 68,406; the 2016 Census estimates the population at 67,934, making it the sixth-largest city in the state. The city is part of the Waterloo – Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the more populous of the two cities.
As a young man, he felt moved to follow in his father's footsteps and become a minister. To this end he graduated from Wartburg College in 1955 and went on to Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, simultaneously doing graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from seminary in 1958, and from U. Penn in 1959 (Masters degree) and 1964 (PhD). His thesis was an examination of the work of the American realist and humanist, Roy Wood Sellars. He resigned from the ministry in 1965 and devoted his energies to philosophy, being particularly interested in epistemology, ethics, and the philosophy of mind.
Wartburg College is a four-year liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located in Waverly, Iowa. Wartburg West is in Denver, Colorado.
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), also known as the Philadelphia Seminary, was one of eight theological seminaries associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran denomination in North America. It is located on Germantown Avenue in the Mount Airy neighborhood of northwestern Philadelphia. Founded in 1864, it has its roots in the Pennsylvania Ministerium established in 1748 in Philadelphia by Henry Melchior Muhlenberg.
The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence and the first institution of higher learning in the United States to refer to itself as a university. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.
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In 1956 Norman married Novalene Black, who became his lifelong partner. Together they have three children.
He retired from Lehigh University in 1995 and with his wife moved to Richmond, Virginia where two of his sons and their families live. He then became an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, teaching occasionally and continuing with his writings.
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. It is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Greater Richmond Region. Richmond was incorporated in 1742 and has been an independent city since 1871.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a public research university in Richmond, Virginia. MCV was founded in 1838 as the medical department of Hampden–Sydney College, becoming the Medical College of Virginia in 1854. In 1968, the Virginia General Assembly merged MCV with the Richmond Professional Institute, founded in 1917, to create Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2018, more than 31,000 students pursue 217 degree and certificate programs through VCU's 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health System supports the university's health care education, research and patient care mission.
In the mid 1970s he took up cycling and became a very successful racer in the veteran's class, winning many medals and trophies in Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Zealand, where his eldest son lives. In 1991 he rode across the country with two friends from Seattle to Cape May New Jersey.
Cycling, also called biking or bicycling, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, exercise or sport. People engaged in cycling are referred to as "cyclists", "bikers", or less commonly, as "bicyclists". Apart from two-wheeled bicycles, "cycling" also includes the riding of unicycles, tricycles, quadracycles, recumbent and similar human-powered vehicles (HPVs).
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
Roy Wood Sellars was a Canadian philosopher of critical realism and religious humanism, and a proponent of evolutionary naturalism. His son was the philosopher Wilfrid Sellars. Sellars received his B.A. from the University of Michigan. For much of his career he taught at Michigan.
Originally his PhD thesis, this book was published in 1968.
A dialogue involving six friends from university days on a cycling tour. Ten years on, they revive the lively discussions they had as students, this time discussing relativism. The six friends each take a different perspective on the issue and these are each presented without comment, allowing the reader to make a kind of Kierkegaardian choice. An interesting aspect of the work is that their tour forms a kind of allegory of the discussion (for example, the riders encounter long and steep hills on days when they discuss particularly difficult issues).
Who's to Say? is available as a Google Book.
By far his most popular work, this widely used textbook is currently in its seventh edition. It looks at philosophy as a conversation through the ages on matters of the deepest concern to humanity. Starting from Homer and Hesiod, the book moves through history, presenting each philosopher's work in part as a response to previous philosophers. The latest edition includes sections on contemporary philosophers as well as Muslim, Buddhist, and Jewish thinkers.
An abbreviated and illustrated version of The Great Conversation.
Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions.
Christian philosophy is a development in philosophy that is characterised by coming from a Christian tradition.
John Henry McDowell is a South African philosopher, formerly a fellow of University College, Oxford and now University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Although he has written extensively on metaphysics, epistemology, ancient philosophy, and meta-ethics, McDowell's most influential work has been in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. McDowell was one of three recipients of the 2010 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Distinguished Achievement Award, and is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the British Academy.
Wilfrid Stalker Sellars was an American philosopher and prominent developer of critical realism, who "revolutionized both the content and the method of philosophy in the United States".
Eliminative materialism is the claim that people's common-sense understanding of the mind is false and that certain classes of mental states that most people believe in do not exist. It is a materialist position in the philosophy of mind. Some supporters of eliminativism argue that no coherent neural basis will be found for many everyday psychological concepts such as belief or desire, since they are poorly defined. Rather, they argue that psychological concepts of behaviour and experience should be judged by how well they reduce to the biological level. Other versions entail the non-existence of conscious mental states such as pain and visual perceptions.
John Jamieson Carswell "Jack" Smart AC was an Australian philosopher and academic, and was appointed as an Emeritus Professor by the Australian National University. He worked in the fields of metaphysics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and political philosophy. He wrote multiple entries for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
In metaphysics, realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya was an Indian Marxist philosopher. He made contributions to the exploration of the materialist current in ancient Indian philosophy. He is known for Lokayata: A Study in Ancient Indian Materialism, which is his exposition of the philosophy of Lokayata. He is also known for work on history of science and scientific method in ancient India, especially his 1977 book Science and Society in Ancient India on the ancient physicians Charaka and Sushruta. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour, posthumously, in 1998.
Metaphysical naturalism is a philosophical worldview which holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences. Methodological naturalism is a philosophical basis for science, for which metaphysical naturalism provides only one possible ontological foundation. Broadly, the corresponding theological perspective is religious naturalism or spiritual naturalism. More specifically, metaphysical naturalism rejects the supernatural concepts and explanations that are part of many religions.
Paul Montgomery Churchland is a Canadian philosopher known for his studies in neurophilosophy and the philosophy of mind. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh under Wilfrid Sellars (1969), Churchland rose to the rank of full professor at the University of Manitoba before accepting the Valtz Family Endowed Chair in Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and a joint appointments in that institution's Institute for Neural Computation and on its Cognitive Science Faculty.
François Laruelle is a French philosopher, formerly of the Collège international de philosophie and the University of Paris X: Nanterre. Laruelle has been publishing since the early 1970s and now has around twenty book-length titles to his name. Alumnus of the École Normale Supérieure, Laruelle is notable for developing a science of philosophy that he calls non-philosophy. He currently directs an international organisation dedicated to furthering the cause of non-philosophy, the Organisation Non-Philosophique Internationale.
Charles Augustus Strong was a philosopher and psychologist. He spent the earlier part of his career teaching in the United States of America, but he later settled in Italy, near Florence, and it was there between 1918 and 1936 that he wrote most of his works.
William Klaas Frankena was an American moral philosopher. He was a member of the University of Michigan's department of philosophy for 41 years (1937–1978), and chair of the department for 14 years (1947–1961).
1973 in philosophy
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to metaphysics:
Keith Campbell is an Australian philosopher working in metaphysics.
Robert Koons is an American philosopher. He is a professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas (UT), noted for his contribution to metaphysics and philosophical logic. Koons has also advocated for academic freedom and courses on Western civilization.
Scottish Common Sense Realism, also known as the Scottish School of Common Sense, is a realist school of philosophy that originated in the ideas of Scottish philosophers Thomas Reid, Adam Ferguson, James Beattie, and Dugald Stewart during the 18th-century Scottish Enlightenment. Reid emphasized man's innate ability to perceive common ideas and that this process is inherent in and interdependent with judgement. Common sense therefore, is the foundation of philosophical inquiry. Though best remembered for its opposition to the pervasive philosophy of David Hume, Scottish Common Sense philosophy is influential and evident in the works of Thomas Jefferson and late 18th-century American politics.
Pamfil Danilovich Yurkevich was a Ukrainian idealist philosopher and teacher.