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.
Intellectual historians want to look at the past to find questions of value. Greeks are considered the start of political philosophy. Plato, 428-348 BCE, is the most famous. Plato’s teacher, Socrates, was killed by Athenian democracy.
Aristotle, 384-322 BC, joined Plato’s Academy in Athens at eighteen and remained there until the age of thirty-seven. He was not a citizen of Athens. His writings constitute the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy.
3. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274, was an Italian Dominican friar and Catholic priest and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism. Thomas attempted to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity.
4. Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679, best known work is Leviathan (1651) which established social contract theory. His liberal thinking included: The right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the political order; the view that all legitimate political power must be representative; and a liberal interpretation of law.
5. John Locke
John Locke, 1632-1704, was the Father of Classical Liberalism. Human beings in their rationality are in God’s image. His law of nature was ethical and universal. Human preservation was tantamount. Each person has a property in himself. Property precedes government.
6. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778, influenced the French Revolution with his political philosophy and his social contract theory. The perspective of many of today’s environmentalists can be traced back to Rousseau, espousing that all degenerates in man’s hands. The Social Contract (1972), his most important work, outlines the basis for a legitimate political order within a framework of classical republicanism.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Gordon is a Genius
Sometimes David Gordon knows too much that it makes it difficult to follow, but overall this is a rewarding collection of lectures.
Where are the lectures?
David Gordon at his finest
I never found philosophy a subject of interest until I heard David speak at Mises U. Listening to david speak is like finding yourself in the company of a beautiful woman and savoring a glass of 20 year Scotch, a remarkably pleasant experience. The way David provides such detailed explanations of philosophical thought has left me with no alternative but to begin reading books of philosophy. Perhaps when I finish reading the list of books I've gathered from his lectures I might speak with him and have something worthwhile to say during conversation with him.