89 episodes

We discuss the great books, the great ideas and the process of liberal education.

Online Great Books Podcast Online Great Books Podcast

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 171 Ratings

We discuss the great books, the great ideas and the process of liberal education.

    #89- Nietzsche's On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense

    #89- Nietzsche's On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense

    This week, Scott and Karl discuss Nietzche's On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense. 
    Written in 1873 one year after The Birth of Tragedy, it was published by his sister Elisabeth in 1896 when Nietzsche was already mentally ill.
    In just 24 pages, the work wrestles with epistemological questions about the nature of truth and language, and how they relate to our formation of concepts.
    Nietzsche's primary question is this: Where do you have the desire for truth? For him, it is difficult to explain where any drive to truth comes from when the human intellect functions to deceive us.
    If you've never encountered Nietzche before, Karl warns, "He's a really good philosopher with a hammer." 
    Tune in to learn more about the social roots of truth-seeking according to Nietzche and what happens when humans get concepts. 

    • 1 hr 40 min
    #88- The Classic Hardboiled Crime Novel: Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep

    #88- The Classic Hardboiled Crime Novel: Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep

    This week, Scott and Karl read the 1939 novel by Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep. This hardboiled crime novel is the first of seven novels to feature the famed detective Philip Marlowe.
    As Chandler’s first Marlowe story, there is no introduction to the character; rather, we leap straight into the investigation as it gets underway. Throughout the novel, Marlowe finds himself entangled with kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder, but as Scott points out, "You have to have your eyes wide open... It's really nasty without him putting it right in your face and hitting you over the head with how dark it all is." 
    Heralded as one of the finest prose writers of the twentieth century, Chandler writes as if pain hurt and life mattered. Karl says, "Chandler is able to provide this contrast between beauty on the one hand and horror on the other." 
    The duo talks about how these gritty, realist detective stories present a new kind of hero. Scott says, "The detective never wins. He might solve the problem, but he's never better off at the end of it. He's swept up in a world of conflict and intrigue and he's put down at the end of it right where he was." Karl adds, "He's an outsider able to solve crimes and see the truth of the society he's living in."
    Tune in and learn more about the quintessential urban private eye.

    • 1 hr 41 min
    #87: Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor Part 2

    #87: Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor Part 2

    In the second episode of this two-part series, Scott and Karl finish up their discussion of Benjamin Graham’s 1949 classic The Intelligent Investor.
    Graham wanted to teach investors the basic principles needed to navigate markets. In doing so, he teaches investors how to manage themselves. Graham's rules for investing are designed to help readers treat the menu of options before them with rational criteria.
    But as Scott points out, "His rules aren't the important thing. The important thing is seeing how to create a framework for decision making in the financial world."
    Tune in to learn more about and this hallmark investment guide and gain insight into understanding your own risk tolerance. 

    • 48 min
    #86: Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor Part 1

    #86: Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor Part 1

    In the first episode of this two-part series, Scott and Karl begin discussing Benjamin Graham's 1949 classic The Intelligent Investor.
    Heralded as the greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Graham's philosophy of “value investing” provides the core tenants of all good portfolio management. 
    Karl says, "It is [about] how to invest. But what it is not is how to speculate." 
    Where the speculator follows market trends, the investor uses discipline, research, and analytical ability to purchase assets that will produce a predictable yield. 
    Tune in to learn more about and this hallmark investment guide and dig into what Scott calls Graham's "metaphysics of corporatehood." 
     

    • 57 min
    #85- Marcuse's "Repressive Tolerance" Part 2

    #85- Marcuse's "Repressive Tolerance" Part 2

    In the second half of the conversation, Scott and Karl continue discussing Herbert Marcuse’s 1965 essay “Repressive Tolerance.”
    In the course of analyzing Marcuse, Karl creates a new word: "justism." 
    As Karl describes, "It's when you take a complex reality and you reduce it to one simple concept. For Marcuse, it looks like the "justism" is towards whatever his vision of freedom is, which will require the repression of the normal people who support the established order."
    Although Scott and Karl agree with some of his criticism on the media, they find fault in his ability to show his work and give concrete solutions. As Scott puts it, "He's a smuggler."
    Tune in to part two of the show and learn more about the Marcusean shape of intolerance. 

    • 50 min
    #84- Marcuse's "Repressive Tolerance" Part 1

    #84- Marcuse's "Repressive Tolerance" Part 1

    Is tolerance a good thing and who deserves it? 
    In the first episode of this two-part series, Scott and Karl begin discussing Herbert Marcuse's 1965 essay "Repressive Tolerance." 
    Marcuse argues that the whole of society shapes what is politically possible for each of us, so any discussion of politics must attend to society as a whole. 
    Scott says, "For Marcuse, whether something is tolerable or intolerable is entirely based on whether that thing gives his group more power." 
    While Marcuse doesn't clearly provide boundaries to what is tolerable and intolerable, Scott and Karl dig in for themselves. 
    Scott says, "We live in a world of scarcity. We are never completely liberated and never can be... there will be compromises, things we must do to not perish. [Marcuse] doesn't carve out allowances for those things either." 
    Tune in and learn more about Marcuse's essay and the problem when tolerance becomes a partisan tool. 

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
171 Ratings

171 Ratings

catholicsthink ,

Wonderful Podcast!

Thank you Ive found this greatbook podcast. Great conversations!

forreviews2 ,

Love the show; never miss an episode!

In light of some of common Scott’s themes, I’d love to hear you guys do a review of John Michael Greer’s The Long Descent.

xack42 ,

My favorite show.

Long time listener. Still my favorite podcast right up there with the music and ideas podcast. The Raymond Chandler episode was fantastic right up there with the lord of the rings episode. I’m a little more of a Dashiell Hammett guy he was an actual Pinkerton after all. Great work funny dark interesting all the good stuff. Can’t wait until next week.

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