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Great Courses – Hobbes to Habermas

The Modern Political Tradition – Hobbes to Habermas

Prof. Lawrence Cahoone’s course consists of 36 lectures. We’ll handle them two at a time, so we’ll have 18 sessions. Participants have the option of streaming the lectures from Kanopy or Hoopla at their leisure or watching the lectures in person at the Library. The showing at the Library will commence at 10am. The discussion will begin at 11:15. You have the option of attending in person or via Zoom. If you are going to attend via Zoom you must sign up for the course. If you want a reminder of the classes, sign up for the course. You’ll get the Zoom invitation as an added bonus. You only need to sign up for the course or reminders once, until April.

 

Week 1 – October 6, 2022

Lecture 1 – Origins and Conflicts of Modern Politics

Suggested Readings

None – It’s the first lecture for heaven’s sake.

Lecture 2 – Ancient Republics, Empires, Fiefdoms

Suggested Readings

Week 2 – October 20

Lecture 3 – Machiavelli’s New Order

Suggested Readings

Lecture 4 – Hobbes, Natural Law, the Social Contract

Suggested Readings

  • Hobbes – Leviathan – Available for download in Libby

Week 3 – November 3

Lecture 5 – Locke on Limited Government and Toleration

Suggested Readings

Lecture 6 – Rousseau’s Republican Community

Suggested Readings

Week 4 – November 17

Lecture 7 – Kant’s Ethics of Duty and Natural Rights

Suggested Readings

Possible Discussion Question – How does Kant’s view fit with the notion of “natural rights”?

Lecture 8 – Smith and the Market Revolution

Suggested Readings

Week 5 – December 1

Lecture 9 – Montesquieu and the American Founding

Lecture 10 – Debating the French Revolution

Week 6 – January 5, 2023 (Dec. 15 meeting was postponed)

Lecture 11 – Legacies of the Revolution – Right to Left

Lecture 12 – Nationalism and a People’s War

Week 7 – January 19

Lecture 13 – Civil Society – Constant, Hegel, Tocqueville

Lecture 14 – Mill on Liberty and Utility

Week 8 – February 2

Lecture 15 – Marx’s Critique of Capitalism

Lecture 16 – Modern vs. Traditional Society – Halfway done!

Week 9 – February 23

Note: this is three weeks after the previous meeting

Lecture 17 – Progressivism and New Liberalism

Lecture 18 – Fleeing Liberalism – Varieties of Socialism

Week 10 – March 16

Lecture 19 – Fleeing Liberalism – Fascism and Carl Schmitt

Lecture 20 – Totalitarianism and Total War

Week 11 – March 30

Lecture 21 – Conservative or Neoliberal – Oakeshott, Hayek

Lecture 22 – Reviving the Public Realm – Hannah Arendt

Note: to continue receiving invitations and/or reminders you must sign up again. Also, the next meeting is three weeks away.

Week 12 – April 20

Lecture 23 – Philosophy vs. Politics – Strauss and Friends

Lecture 24 – Marcuse and the New Left

Week 13 – May 18

Lecture 25 – Rawls’s A Theory of Justice

Lecture 26 – Ayn Rand, Robert Nozick, Libertarianism

Week 14 – June 1

Lecture 27 – What about Community?

Lecture 28 – Walzer on Everything Money Shouldn’t Buy

Week 15 – June 15

Lecture 29 – Identity Politics – Feminism

Lecture 30 – Identity Politics – Multiculturalism

Week 16 – June 29

Lecture 31 – The Politics of Nature – Environmentalism

Lecture 32 – Postmodernism, Truth, and Power

Week 17 – July 20

Lecture 33 – Democracy as Communication

Lecture 34 – The End of History? Clash of Civilizations?

Week 18 – August 3 – The End!

Lecture 35 – Just Wars? The Problem of Dirty Hands

Lecture 36 – Why Political Philosophy Matters

 

 

 

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