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The Modern Political Tradition: Hobbes to Habermas | [The Great Courses]

The Modern Political Tradition: Hobbes to Habermas

Without even realizing it, we all use the fruits of political philosophy. From liberty to democracy to community, the terms and concepts originated by political philosophers are ingrained in our global consciousness. Yet many of us have an incomplete picture of how these ideas developed and, quite possibly, a skewed perception of their intentions and implications. This highly relevant course sheds light on the labyrinth of Western political and social theory, as well as its influence on modern history.
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Publisher's Summary

Without even realizing it, we all use the fruits of political philosophy. From liberty to democracy to community, the terms and concepts originated by political philosophers are ingrained in our global consciousness. Yet many of us have an incomplete picture of how these ideas developed and, quite possibly, a skewed perception of their intentions and implications.

This highly relevant course sheds light on the labyrinth of Western political and social theory, as well as its influence on modern history. Guided by an award-winning professor of philosophy and author, these eye-opening lectures reveal how political philosophers, in responding to the societal problems and changing conditions of their day in revolutionary ways, created virtual blueprints of action for leaders. You'll gain not only the tools to comprehend the omnipresent language of politics, but a thorough understanding of the wellspring of thought that has emerged over centuries of political philosophy and the intellectual origins of major historical movements and events.

Throughout, questions of democracy, freedom, and distributive justice are addressed, and revolutionary figures who have left an indelible mark on history - from Niccolo Machiavelli to Ayn Rand - are encountered.

By the conclusion of lecture 36, you will have the context necessary to appreciate the evolution of a myriad of political ideas, including hot-button topics of today such as libertarianism, neoconservatism, feminism, and environmentalism.

©2014 The Great Courses (P)2014 The Teaching Company, LLC

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  •  
    Saud 10-14-14
    Saud 10-14-14

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    835
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    344
    277
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    69
    71
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enlightening"

    While this course is dry compared to some other Great Courses offerings, it's still fascinating if you stick with it.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book 07-01-15
    Book 07-01-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much Keyword Density"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Lawrence Cahoone?

    No, he talked over my head by using industry jargon and not speaking to someone who doesn't have post doctorate work Poly Science. I took business ethics which overlapped some of the material, found my mind wondering because he would string together very specific words without providing an illustration for those words


    What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Add 100x more examples


    What didn’t you like about Professor Lawrence Cahoone’s performance?

    Key word density. "The deontological aspects of Post Modernism"... WTF?


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. This is a very intriguing topic but I walked away with little useful knowledge.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Garrett 06-02-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "An Excellent Survey of Western Political Thought"

    This is an excellent survey of the philosophical foundations of Western political thought. It covers not only the foundations of Western political thought (Plato and Aristotle) but also recent developments in western political thought (the animal rights movement and feminism). The explanations are clear, objective, and without a lot of philosophical jargon. At a certain point the standard becomes Liberal Republicanism and it is against this standard that other alternate theories are measured. That privileging of Liberal Republicanism seemed unnecessary to me. Yet when alternate theories are presented their critiques of Liberal Republicanism are presented as well. I will most certainly be listening to this book again. It's worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Michael
    Clonmel, Ireland
    10/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another gem from Cahoone"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Cahoone does a great job of distilling complex theories often expressed in difficult language and rendering these easily accessible to the listener.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Modern Political Tradition: Hobbes to Habermas?

    I thought the explanation of Habermas was excellent. While understandably selective and simplified, Cahoone gets down to the bones of what Habermas says. He renders the obfuscatory Habermas coherent - which is not an easy job!


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    N/A - although I did enjoy the anecdote about the student in the lecture on Walzer; it was both entertaining and illustrative.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    N/A


    Any additional comments?

    I really do hope Cahoone does another lecture series. His previous lectures series (Decartes to Derrida) was also excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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