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Podcast Profile: The History of Political Philosophy: From Plato to Rothbard

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10 episodes

Collection: Philosophy

Description (podcaster-provided):

In this ten-lecture course sponsored by Steve Berger and Kenneth Garschina, intellectual historian David Gordon guides students through a survey of the greatest thinkers, and evaluates these scholars by their arguments for and against the idea of Liberty.Download the complete audio of this event (ZIP) here.

Themes and summary (AI-generated based on podcaster-provided show and episode descriptions):

➤ Greatest thinkers • Political philosophy • Liberty • Justice • Ethics • Social contract • Utilitarianism • Political theories • Historical context • Influential philosophers

This podcast, "The History of Political Philosophy: From Plato to Rothbard," sponsored by Steve Berger and Kenneth Garschina, offers a ten-lecture series guided by intellectual historian David Gordon. The course provides an in-depth exploration of significant political philosophers from various historical periods. The content spans from classical antiquity to the modern period, scrutinizing the ideas and contributions of some of history's most influential thinkers through the lens of their arguments for and against the idea of Liberty.

Starting with the foundational works of Plato and Aristotle, the podcast delves into their views on justice, the ideal state, and the nature of political order. Plato's critique of democracy and his vision of a philosopher-king-led society are contrasted with Aristotle's empirically-driven ethics and politics, emphasizing reason and the organic nature of the city-state.

The series proceeds to cover the medieval synthesis of Christian theology and Aristotelian philosophy with Thomas Aquinas, exploring his multifaceted views on law, morality, and governance. Moving into the early modern period, the listener is introduced to the social contract theories of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, both of whom laid the groundwork for later liberal political theory. Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s concepts of natural rights and government by consent are key discussions.

Further episodes extend to the Enlightenment and beyond, featuring thinkers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who profoundly influenced modern political and educational theory. Immanuel Kant and G.W.F. Hegel’s complex and sometimes controversial philosophies regarding rights, property, and the state are also explored.

In addition, the podcast examines the liberal philosophies of John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, and Lysander Spooner during the 19th century, highlighting their contributions to utilitarianism, individual liberty, and anarchism. The series concludes with Robert Nozick and Murray Rothbard, pivotal figures in 20th-century libertarian thought, contrasting their ideas with those of earlier philosophers.

Overall, this podcast is a scholarly journey through the evolution of political philosophy, focusing on the dynamic interplay between liberty and authority as conceived by Western intellectual tradition.

1. Plato

2. Aristotle

3. Thomas Aquinas

4. Thomas Hobbes

5. John Locke

6. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

7. Immanuel Kant and G.W.F. Hegel

8. John Stuart Mill, Lysander Spooner and Herbert Spencer

9. John Rawls

10. Robert Nozick and Murray Rothbard