Price: CDN$ 55.51

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day free trial and your first audiobook is free
  • After trial, get 1 credit each month good for any audiobook.
  • Exchange any audiobook you don’t like
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your free trial, Audible is just CDN$ 14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Digestible Politics

Well presented, succinct and compelling.
Prof Cahoone makes 2500 years fly by and make sense.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent overview of the topic.

Cahoones course provided exactly what one would expect, a very balanced and scholarly review of the major thinkers in this discipline in the western traditition over the last few centuries. His lectures are accessible for interested learners from any sort of background, he signposts his lectures well and defines and discusses important general concepts that link the various thinkers and provides the tools for the listener to develop their own opinions and ideas. The breadth of the course and choice of topics is spot on, including the prominent philosophers in the conservative, liberal, libertarian, communitarian and postmodern schools, as well as pragmatists, feminists and environmentalists. The lectures are broken into reasonable 30-50 minute segments, ideal for a thoughtful afternoon or commute. #Audible1

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dana Garrett
  • 2015-06-02

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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel Moyer
  • 2018-07-08

Political philosophy

A political philosophy course by Great Courses/Audible, it includes a detailed PDF. Several areas made me think and gave me a greater appreciation about why socialism came about and just how short a timespan is involved. It mainly covers since about 1700. It also is about philosophy and doesn't cover current US politics.

Since I mainly interested in STEM, I never really thought about what this course covers. If you're in that camp, it's worth it.

PDF
LECTURE 1 Origins and Conflicts of Modern Politics .............................................4
LECTURE 2 Ancient Republics, Empires, Fiefdoms .............................................11
LECTURE 3 Machiavelli’s New Order ...................................................................18
LECTURE 4 Hobbes, Natural Law, the Social Contract ........................................25
LECTURE 5 Locke on Limited Government and Toleration ..................................32
LECTURE 6 Rousseau’s Republican Community .................................................39
LECTURE 7 Kant’s Ethics of Duty and Natural Rights ..........................................46
LECTURE 8 Smith and the Market Revolution .....................................................53
LECTURE 9 Montesquieu and the American Founding ........................................60
LECTURE 10 Debating the French Revolution .......................................................68
LECTURE 11 Legacies of the Revolution—Right to Left ........................................75
LECTURE 12 Nationalism and a People’s War.......................................................82
LECTURE 13 Civil Society—Constant, Hegel, Tocqueville .....................................89
LECTURE 14 Mill on Liberty and Utility...................................................................97
LECTURE 15 Marx’s Critique of Capitalism ..........................................................104
LECTURE 16 Modern vs. Traditional Society .......................................................112
LECTURE 17 Progressivism and New Liberalism ................................................119
LECTURE 18 Fleeing Liberalism—Varieties of Socialism .....................................126
LECTURE 19 Fleeing Liberalism—Fascism and Carl Schmitt ..............................134
LECTURE 20 Totalitarianism and Total War .........................................................142
LECTURE 21 Conservative or Neoliberal—Oakeshott, Hayek .............................149
LECTURE 22 Reviving the Public Realm—Hannah Arendt ..................................157
LECTURE 23 Philosophy vs. Politics—Strauss and Friends ................................164
LECTURE 24 Marcuse and the New Left..............................................................171
LECTURE 25 Rawls’s A Theory of Justice............................................................179
LECTURE 26 Ayn Rand, Robert Nozick, Libertarianism .......................................186
LECTURE 27 What about Community? ................................................................193
LECTURE 28 Walzer on Everything Money Shouldn’t Buy ..................................200
LECTURE 29 Identity Politics—Feminism ............................................................207
LECTURE 30 Identity Politics—Multiculturalism ...................................................214
LECTURE 31 The Politics of Nature—Environmentalism .....................................222
LECTURE 32 Postmodernism, Truth, and Power .................................................230
LECTURE 33 Habermas—Democracy as Communication ..................................237
LECTURE 34 The End of History? Clash of Civilizations?....................................244
LECTURE 35 Just Wars? The Problem of Dirty Hands ........................................252
LECTURE 36 Why Political Philosophy Matters ...................................................259

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Per
  • 2015-09-09

Excellent primer

Having no background on the subject, I picked this book up to get a primer. In that capacity, it is an excellent book, covering political philosophy from the ancient greeks to modern society. Excellent and pleasant narration. Recommended!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher Torgersen
  • 2016-06-02

Interesting topic, somewhat dull narration

The ideas and concepts in this course, as well as the material it covers, are fascinating. The course gives a bird's eye view of politics leading into our modern day situation and provides a thorough and balanced understanding of how we got to where we are.

Professor Cahoone is clearly knowledgeable and has many good insights, but I did find his narration a bit monotonous. Unlike other Great Courses lecturers, he is clearly reading his notes with little improvisation or deviation from them. This might work well for some, but I prefer lecturers who are more animated. I think I may have zoned out for swaths of some lectures and would need to re-listen in order to fully absorb them.

It's still a good course worth taking if you are interested in the material.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Deux
  • 2017-09-12

The second Cahoone survey course I've listened to.

This course covers an incredibly vast history of political philosophy in a mere 18 hours. With the amount of material packed in here, that's hardly any time at all.

But that's okay! By the end--even though I find it difficult to recall which philosopher was responsible for which idea or manifesto--I feel I have a general understanding of the main thrust of our political-philosophical evolution, which I believe was the point of this survey course. The course has opened me up to delving deeper into any of the individual moments discussed in the lecture without fear of missing the big picture.

The course grounds itself in philosophy, and extrapolates to the political from there, so you end up getting a more traditional philosophical summary in addition to the political exploration.

Cahoone is an intelligent, clear lecturer that does a great job of explicating the finer points of the dense works he references.

And if you're wondering, the course seems to have been recorded somewhere around 2011-2012, as references to that time are made.

Highly recommended for someone interested in philosophy with an emphasis on understanding its practical use in the realm of politics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-11-06

brilliant synopsis of political philosophy

he covers a host of controversial topics from fascism to veganism without having an aparant bias and presenting their argument from their own point of view.

He takes a deep dive into the history of political philosophy and applies various philosophical models to a broad spectrum of political topics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 2016-09-01

Amazing objective and descriptive analysis .

Great narration.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Some comcepts were difficult but it's worth researching.
Will go through one more time.
Will recommend to others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2015-12-17

exceptional

Clarified politics for me beautifully. Without being partisan. would recommend to anyone who is even slightly confused about our current politics.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • SAMA
  • 2014-10-14

Enlightening

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

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hendrick Mcdonald
  • 2016-04-02

An Excellent Listen

I loved listening to these lectures on the political philosophy, though normally I dislike philosophical musings. The speaker was engaging and even handed. The story follows the twists and turns of philosophical thought from early questions of the power of the sovereign vs. the people's power, the natural rights of man, the role of economics, the role of institutions, the role of society on itself and what duties if any people have to society. There is no cut and dry, black and white here. Throughout the evolution of 'Liberal' and 'Conservative' ideas are traced, but often boundaries are crossed and rationalized and criss-crossed in ways that really enlighten the listener to the plethora of justifications for the ways a state may choose to run itself. Excellent, excellent listen.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful