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criticaltom

criticaltom

Member Since 2008

ratings
63
REVIEWS
3
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HELPFUL VOTES
32

  • The Platonic Tradition

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Peter Kreeft
    • Narrated By Peter Kreeft
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    This engaging course of lectures begins by providing a detailed and accurate overview of Plato's philosophy and it's central idea - the idea of a transcendent reality that has popularly become known as the theory of the Forms. Professor Kreeft then takes us on a concise journey through Western Philosophical history to show how that central idea - the theory of forms - has either been built upon or reacted to by philosophers ever since.

    criticaltom says: "intellectual dynamite"
    "intellectual dynamite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are great philosophers and then there are great teachers of philosophy. Kreeft is the latter. He is a great teacher, and this is a prime example of it. He makes a very compelling case for the Platonic Tradition and it's centrality, not just as a given of Western culture, but as THE correct approach to truth. Kreeft, taking up Whitehead's oft-quoted aphorism about all Western philosophy being a footnote to Plato, demonstrates why this is so. He demonstrates how most of the rest of ancient and medieval philosophy has been an attempt to add to and/or incorporate Plato into a larger milieu. He also demonstrates how all modern philosophy, beginning with Occam (pre-Descartes even) until today consists of various attempts to subtract from Plato with disastrous results. I found it so utterly convincing that, once I had finished, I restarted it. To me it was that good.

    If you decide you cannot agree with Kreeft's view point, you would still benefit greatly from arguing with his case.

    The one downside is that Recorded books has not provided a guidebook and their website does not even have the course listed, which means no final exam. That's sad.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Modern Scholar: How to Think: The Liberal Arts and Their Enduring Value

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Professor Michael D. C. Drout
    • Narrated By Professor Michael D. C. Drout
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    In How to Think: The Liberal Arts and Their Enduring Value, Professor Michael D. C. Drout gives an impassioned defense and celebration of the value of the liberal arts. Charting the evolution of the liberal arts from their roots in the educational system of Ancient Rome through the Middle Ages and to the present day, Drout shows how the liberal arts have consistently been "the tools to rule", essential to the education of the leaders of society. Offering a reasoned defense of their continuing value, Drout also provides suggestions for improving the state of the liberal arts in contemporary society.

    Steve Stowers says: "A defense of the Liberal Arts"
    "11 out of 12 ain't bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I surmise that this course seemed interesting in preparation, but in the presentation, the material falls flat.


    What was most disappointing about Professor Michael D. C. Drout’s story?

    The material is just not compelling. True as it is, this material sounds like it is more suited for a peer conference where humanities grad students can come and get some good talking points for why their disciplines matter. As a general course, it fails to inspire.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Michael D. C. Drout’s performances?

    Always!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The redeeming quality is that even when Drout fails to engage me, he is still very enjoyable--and erudite.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't let this negative review keep you from trying any of Drout's other courses, especially Way With Words (the first one), Anglo-Saxon History, and History of English Language. Drout is a really fine teacher and his other courses are very inspiring. He is one of the Modern Scholars' most popular presenters for a reason.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Peter Kreeft
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (95)

    An enthusiastic admirer of the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, professor and philosopher Peter Kreeft details the rational thought and precise literary talent that established Aquinas as the foremost thinker of his time - and as the most important philosopher for the almost 200 years between Aristotle and Descartes.

    criticaltom says: "Just what an introduction to Aquinas should be."
    "Just what an introduction to Aquinas should be."
    Overall

    Simply put, an introduction to any philosopher should give the reader/listener a good foundation for further exploration. Kreeft does this admirably. After listening I felt like I had a great foundation for reading Thomas, and because of Kreeft's presentation, I wanted to do so.

    I also appreciate the fact that Kreeft does not hide his loyalties behind a veneer of academic objectivity. Who else to present Thomism than a Catholic professor of philosophy? Who else to explain Thomas than someone who shares the same convictions?

    Best of all, Kreeft's presentation leaves us with some very thought provoking comparisons of Scholasticism/Thomism with modern (e.g., Descartes) and post-modern (a la Foucault) philosophy.

    In a word: masterful.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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