I found this to be a thought-provoking and interesting overview of many of the major philosophers and their respective reasonings and arguments. This ..Show More »isn't a scant overview where you get a handful of minutes on profound thinkers, you get a little bit more than - usually at least one full lecture and often more when the philosopher or philosophy is refered back to in later lectures.
The Professor clearly has mastery over his course and it's a pleasure to have had he opportunity to sit in on his classes while in my car, or on my lawn mower.... or layed out on the couch/floor.
I definitely recommend this as a great starting point and believe it will push you to consider or read/listen to more writings/lectures on the subject or, at least, on a particular philosophy or philosopher.
4/5 stars represents something I'd possibly listen to again - and I very well may - probbaly selectively based upon interest in a particular lecture or two. Trying to get away from LOVING everything I hear - but I'm frequently failing. This one slips to just shy of 5 because it didn't have me so 'eager' to continue listening at every breath of my day.
This lecture series discusses The Bhagavad Gita, Aristotle, The Book of Job, Stoicism (including Epictetus, Seneca, Lucretius, and Marcus Aurelius), C..Show More »onfucius, The Dao De Jing (including Zhuangzi), Buddhist teachings (including Santideva and Zen), Hume, Kant, Mill, Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Gandhi, Lame Deer, and the Dalai Lama. He concentrates on bringing out what each subject has to say particularly on the meaning of life, and he always reminds the listener of themes that we have heard in previous lectures and how they compare to the current lecture. He took every perspective seriously, and during each lecture I felt he was making a great case for each viewpoint. He respects Nietzsche and Gandhi equally. He is calm yet engaging speaker. One revelation I had was the difference in how the ancient world generally understands the meaning of life as opposed to the modern world. I got a lot out of listening, and may listen again after a few months. If I were to guess, I would guess he gives slightly more time to compassion/nature of self, but he gives almost equal time to other topics such as the aesthetic/creative and knowledge/progress ideas of the good life.
I have recommended it to my friends, because this is, as far as I know, the best and most simultaneously accessible and comprehensive overview of phil..Show More »osophy that is available in the audio-book format. Furthermore, the fact that such a variety of scholars present the material is helpful: everyone seems to be an expert on the thing that they're talking about, and almost every one of the lectures is informative and interesting.
Herein describes the nature and portent of freedom; and why the fabric of freedom -- the power behind proactive reality -- is so tangled by two primar..Show More »y beliefs of what freedom means: both to each of us, and then to all of us. The concept made real is fundamental to our being, yet we rarely care to understand why. Described in these lectures is the unyielding yet fluid current that lifts and guides the human spirit, drives our creative endeavors, ultimately to reveal our love and sacrifice. The values and principles of freedom, as a primal force, are given voice in this excellent narrative as the beliefs and activities of historic philosophers, statesmen and messiah. Freedom is a translation, how we give Truth our active voice; understanding why is the greatest power of all.
If you care about freedom as an apex responsibility, then within these lectures you will discover that, "you are not alone".
I listened to this as a part of the Crash Courses Mythology thing. At first I thought it would be a nice summarization of the things I learned from t..Show More »he other courses. However, it derails so completely from Classic Myth and World Myths that I am uncertain where Professor Fears gets his information from.
At first Professor Fears speaks at length about the Iliad and its status as a Great Book and the higher knowledge we receive from reading it. For instance, he claims that one of its major lessons is how terrible hubris is - thinking you know better than you actually do, and acting accordingly. He also says that the Iliad contains a "historical kernal of truth" - this will be an ongoing pattern.
Later he goes in some detail about a few other myths like Gilgamesh, but about halfway through the series he stops talking about ancient myths and begins talking about actual historical figures like Alexander the Great and Napoleon. The link between mythological truths and historical facts weakens until the professor is simply lecturing about the history of the United States without mentioning any mythology or stories at all.
One thing in particular that bothered me was that he makes a point of putting his personal views into the lectures which have very little bearing on the overall lesson. For instance, he claims that American culture will never die (in the form of rock and roll and McDonalds), and refers to any mention of Christianity as "right" and any mention of previous religions as "what they believed". I felt this glorification of his personal beliefs got in the way of the actual lessons, and made it more difficult to see what he was actually trying to teach.
Overall, I do not recommend this series if you are looking for a good introduction into mythology.
The topic is marvelous and the lecturer superb. All that stuff you wish you'd paid more attention to when you were younger: key writers like James Joy..Show More »ce, Virginia Woolf, Proust; art movements from post Impressionism onward; philosophers, cultural anthropologists, psychologists (Freud, Jung); up through the post Modernists. Professor Kramer finally explained Derrida and Lacan and worth, as they say, the entire price of admission Highly highly recommended
Each chapter requires some serious work to become easier and more pleasant to listen to. This feels more like one of those old books in which you cons..Show More »tantly need to jump back several pages to understand the point being made.
The author took up Tocqueville prior to running for office a few years prior. If what you are looking for is an understanding of Tocqueville's visit,..Show More » impressions of America and their relation to democracy as understood by the author and Tocqueville, the author does an admirable job.
It is only natural to ask questions about the Tocqueville visit in relation to the founding or in relation to today's society, but the author is focused solely on Tocqueville's firsthand account of his experiences in America. For the author to have veered off into these tangents, would have detracted from the focus, clarity of the book. Tocqueville spent almost a year in America and seems to have been an exceptionally insightful young man. This book will certainly challenge and inform your views of the Republic, democracy, and America in the early 1800s. Highly recommended.
This is a long book (24 courses) and that is perhaps the only criticism I had of the course. Much of what Tocqueville wrote is of interest to today and/or in context of the founding, but almost all readers will find their interest during the course to wax and wane. For me there were only a few topics where I just didn't have much of interest. Women in America, the sciences and education in America. Its not that the points weren't of interest but I feel as if the 1830 ish view and today's view are not an interesting juxtaposition, which is a big reason why I read courses / books like this.
Book is highly recommended for anyone looking to understand Tocqueville's visit and its relation to democracy. This is a cornerstone course. It won't answer any of your burning questions but it will certainly lay a strong foundation for understanding the roots of democracy in America. With democracies failing all over the world I think a course like this should be required reading for old and young alike as we are almost certain to live to see whats old come new again.
Oh what a great lecture series! It was more than I expected. I was left wishing these lectures were longer and wishing for more info on many of the gr..Show More »eat minds. That's why this is such a great course: I am now more interested in further study about many of these great minds! For a survey of intellectuals of medieval world, this is an excellent listen. I've listened to Prof Armstrong before, and can say that she has her sea legs now! She has more confidence than before and is a very exciting presenter in these lectures. She does a great job with very complex ideas and the time constraints! She presents each person on the list in such a way that even those individuals with whom I was very familiar seem new and so very interesting!!
I highly recommend this lecture series! Hope for more lectures from this prof.