Hillsdale has an excellent FREE course on western philosophy

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Robert, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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  2. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Thanks for the tip, Robert - I'm going to sign up.

    In return, I'll recommend this book to you:

    [​IMG]

    Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism
    https://www.amazon.com/Inventing-In...nventing+the+individual&qid=1607534200&sr=8-2

    It's one of the best - if not the best - books on Western Philosophy I've ever read.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  3. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    Huh, I'll have to check out both the course and the book @Talon suggested. Looks like all of Hillside's courses are free, so I'll probably check out their econ one, too.

    I'd add this: check and see if your local library has a Hoopla Digital account. You can access a lot of Great Courses series audiobooks from that, which essentially let you audit ivy league classes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  4. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Thank you both for your interest in western philosophy. I too plan to look up the book Talon suggests we read.
     
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  5. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I hope you both enjoy Siedentop's book as much as I did, and I encourage you both to check out the bibliographies for each chapter. One of the great things about Inventing the Individual is that it opens doors to other great works such as Fustel de Coulanges' The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws and Institutions of Greece and Rome, which is an astonishing feat of scholarship. I'm currently reading another book Siedentop cited, François Guizot's The History of Civilization in Europe, that illustrates not only the Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian/Germanic pluralism of European Civilization but pivotal events such as the rise of Medieval cities/towns and how they played a central role in the development of individual freedom (and the middle class) in the West, which Siedentop covers in the "Urban Uprisings" chapter in Inventing the Individual. Here's a brief blurb on Guizot's book:

    Guizot’s History describes the development of European civilization in terms of the inevitable advance of equality of conditions, due to many factors, including a new emphasis on the individual. The author explores the decentralization of power that characterized feudalism, the centralization of power after the fifteenth century, and finally the rebuilding of local autonomy necessary for representative and free government. As editor Larry Siedentop describes, “The [History’s] moral is about the social and political consequences of destroying local liberty . . . excessive concentration of power at the center of any society is, in the long run, its own undoing.”

    https://www.amazon.com/History-Civi...ation+in+europe&qid=1607538455&s=books&sr=1-2
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
  6. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    They wrote many books on this but one I heartily recommend is this book

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Those are some exciting books.

    This book is on a different topic too, but a wonderful read.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    As someone who has studied this in depth it seems a little impossible to wrap up Western philosophy in even a whole semester of courses let alone hut one course.

    Socrates himself is a complete Era of study.

    Maybe it's just a brief introduction to this topic.

    I mean how we get from Plato's "just city" to "manifest destiny" is quite a trip.
     
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  9. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Excellent - that book is going on my list (I hope it's still in print).

    I happen to own a copy of Caesar and Christ, which is Volume III in Will Durant's The Story of Civilization, so I'm familiar with the Durants' work. Aside from its quality, what blew me away about Caesar and Christ was Will Durant's proposition that Jesus of Nazareth may not have died on the cross, and while he probably he did, it's interesting to speculate if and how that would have affected the course of history and most particularly Western Civilization. To be clear, Durant doesn't claim that Jesus survived his ordeal, but he just submitted it as food for thought about how different outcomes in different events could have profoundly changed the world we live in.
     
  10. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Durant's book is still for sale by Amazon.com. Durant has had a very interesting way to present history.
     
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  11. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Coulanges' The Ancient City is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. Using Ancient Greek and Roman sources he peers back into the mists of pre-historic times to provide a glimpse of the birth of Western Civilization, and as you can imagine it is a world entirely unlike our own. Another interesting thing about that book is that it debunks the myths peddled by some Enlightenment Era philosophers that the Ancient Greeks and Romans weren't religious people, when in fact their lives, laws and institutions revolved around their religion, which was based on ancestor worship and the cult of the family. On the basis of the family and the familial religion Ancient Greek and Roman society and government was formed, and it remained the dominant force in Greece until the rise of the populist tyrants and the establishment of democracy in Athens under Cleisthenes (the story in Rome with its parallel plebeian and patrician societies is a bit more complicated).

    Thanks. I'll look into it.
     
  12. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The free course is 14 lectures in all and I am on lesson 3. I am sure as you are that other courses can last longer than 14 lectures of about 35 minutes each it looks like. (some are around 40 minutes long)
     
  13. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    He means the book Cradle of life.

    This book is scientific. And it is not philosophy. It goes into the actual cradle of life. HE explains life in scientific terms. And makes you wish you could go on an expedition with him. The author is the man that was charged to study the mars meteorite to see if what looked to be life was actually life. it is not life he said.
     
  14. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I just read the review at Amazon

    I love the choice of words there. After all our talk about great minds in human history it's amusing to think that we literally evolved from pond scum (or most of us, at least). :smile:
     
  15. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Still nice to see them easily accessible however.
     
  16. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    One can only hope that young people will take advantage of that accessibility. Hillsdale College is a diamond in the rough...
     

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