160 episodes

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

Online Great Books Podcast Online Great Books Podcast

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 309 Ratings

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

    #160- Aquinas’s Commentary on the Metaphysics (1 of 2)

    #160- Aquinas’s Commentary on the Metaphysics (1 of 2)

    Scott and Karl test out an alternative format, and enjoy huge success!
    Also, enrollment is open, now through this weekend. Visit OnlineGreatBooks.com to learn more.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    #159- Filling the Trough

    #159- Filling the Trough

    This week, Scott and Karl are off, so we'll flashback to July 2019, for a very relevant conversation from a very different world.
    Scott and OGB producer Brett discuss pedagogy and dominant learning theories, as Scott aspires to be a better Starting Strength coach and a more effective interlocutor at Online Great Books.

    We begin our discussion with an exploration of the common learning theories practiced in public school and higher education, along with a cost/benefit analysis of each: behaviorism, cognitivism, and (social) constructivism. We also touch on connectivism and mindset theory.
    Originally recorded for School Sucks Podcast.

    • 1 hr 28 min
    #158- Tolkien's The Silmarillion Part 2

    #158- Tolkien's The Silmarillion Part 2

    This week, Scott and Karl finish their discussion of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, a heavy fandom collection of mythopoeic stories that form a complete history of Middle Earth. 
    The duo agrees— don't read this unless you’ve read the big trilogy first. Karl adds, “I think it’s very good. If Tolkien is as big of a part of your life as it is in mine, then you’ve got to read The Silmarillion.”
    Will Tolkien eventually make the Great Books list? Scott says, "I think that through the fog of time and through bit rot that will destroy a lot of histories, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion will take on a historical aspect."
    Tune in for Part Two of Scott and Karl's conversation, brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com.   

    • 1 hr 17 min
    #157- Tolkien's The Silmarillion Part 1

    #157- Tolkien's The Silmarillion Part 1

    This week, Scott and Karl begin their discussion of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, a collection of mythopoeic stories that form a complete history of Middle Earth. Until 1977, these manuscripts were unpublished until his son, Christopher Tolkien, edited them posthumously. 
    Producer Brett warns, "If you don't know what The Silmarillion is, you might be stepping into a rabbit hole... but you'll be better for it." 
    The Silmarillion is actually Tolkien's first book and also his last. It shows us the ancient history to which characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, talk, rhyme, and sing about. Tolkien worked on it, changed it, and enlarged it throughout his entire life. Tune in for Part One of the duo's conversation, brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com.   

    • 1 hr 7 min
    #156- Dewey's "Challenge to Liberal Thought" Part 2

    #156- Dewey's "Challenge to Liberal Thought" Part 2

    This week, Scott and Karl finish their discussion of John Dewey's essay, "Challenge to Liberal Thought." 
    Written in his later life, Dewey expands on his criticisms of the Great Books of Western Civilization enterprise and a liberal arts education. 
    The duo agrees— this is shoddy work to say the least. At the end of their conversation, Scott says, “This is just not very good. I wonder, how did these people get the traction that they got? Why do our intellectual overlords keep telling us we need to read Dewey?"  
    Tune in to hear the rest of Scott and Karl's response to Dewey's essay.  Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com. 

    • 1 hr 13 min
    #155- Dewey's "Challenge to Liberal Thought" Part 1

    #155- Dewey's "Challenge to Liberal Thought" Part 1

    In the tradition of intellectual fairness, Scott and Karl read from someone they don’t agree with this week.
    Toted as the 'King of Progressive Philosophers', John Dewey was an educational reformer active throughout the first half of the 20th century. He left a very significant, progressive mark on the public school system. 
    His essay "Challenge to Liberal Thought" can be found in The Later Works of John Dewey, Volume 15 which focuses on his writings between the years 1942 to 1948. This particular essay expands on his criticisms of the Great Books of Western Civilization enterprise and a liberal arts education. 
    Scott says, “This is a utopian, managerial approach to social sciences that’s pretty gross.... If you've never read Dewey, this encapsulates progressives' whole attitude and approach to managing people."
    Tune in to hear Scott and Karl's response to Dewey's essay, and be sure to tune in next week for Part Two. Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com. 

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
309 Ratings

309 Ratings

James likes to party ,

This is my favorite podcast and has been for years

I find Scott and Karl’s discussions very interesting. There are plenty of opportunities for me to think about and reconsider my assumptions as they relate to the book being discussed, a particular opinion or experience being described, or some other aspect of the conversation. This description does not do justice to the podcast nor to the intensity of disagreement and agreement I experience throughout the many hours of podcast listening I have done.

What I know is that if I are willing to question my beliefs, presumptions, assumptions, etc. and do the hard work of listening and thinking, I gain from these discussions. This will happen for you too whether you agree or not with the various opinions that are presented here.

We are lucky that Scott and Karl take the time to put this together and present it for our listening. At the very least you can be intellectually savvy and curious enough to simply consider what is being said before making a judgment about its value. I argue that you will be better of for it. If you are going to complain because their opinions don’t fit with your worldview, then be on your way. Their opinions don’t always fit with mine…but that’s exactly why I listen.

Thanks. Great podcast. Love OGB.

MPGumbert ,

Great podcast

So my title isn’t very original but don’t let that fool you. Scott does an amazing with this podcast exactly like he does with Online Great Books. The podcast will challenge you to think outside the lines and boxes we want to keep ourselves comfortably in but it is completely worth it.

Jonathan C Lewis ,

First time listener

I was excited to dig into this podcast based on the titles of many excellent books on there podcast list. However, digging into their Simarillion podcast, the hosts go into a rude tangent on a recent review. My tip, stick to the topic at hand and not detouring listeners through your random angry rant because your ego was hurt from a recent reviewer. I may give this podcast a chance, but 10 minutes into my first listen—I was cringing listening to these hosts.

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