Professor Fred E. Baumann looks at what some philosophers have had to say on this subject, mostly in the form of stories about utopias. Five are written by great philosophers and the last by a challenging, nearly contemporary American scholar. All have exerted great influence on the history of thought or have expressed influential currents of thought. Professor Baumann's lectures not only examine these texts, but also address the results of attempting to put these utopias into practice.
"Provocative and stimulating, albeit conservative"
In this fascinating course of lectures, Professor Fred Baumann, leads us on an engaging exploration of this penetrating work. Taking in each of the eight books, we examine the complex juxtaposition of events Thucydides demonstrates without much comment of his own. We see how democrats and oligarchs, Athenians and Spartans, understand the world and misunderstand each other. We explore how Thucydides contrasts Sparta - so deliberately narrow, provincial, overtly moral, and covertly cynical - with Athens....
The Odyssey of the West series addresses in chronological sequence the works that have shaped the ongoing development of Western thought both in its own right and in cultural dialogue with other traditions. Part four provides a close look at the period from the Renaissance to the Scientific Revolution and into the early Enlightenment. These lectures take in the immense variety and singular achievements that have helped mold our present societies.