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Good in Theory is a podcast about political philosophy and how it can help us understand the world today. Want to know what's in Plato's Republic or Hobbes's Leviathan but don't want to read them? This is your pod. I explain my favourite books in political theory in enough detail that you’ll feel like you read them yourself. Deep but not heavy. No experience needed.
 
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.
 
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show series
 
I read the Melian Dialogue, a central episode in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, and offer some commentary on the most significant parts. Thucydides’ realism is not identical to the Athenians’ realism, which is more deterministic and extreme. The Maurin Academy’s next short series, on Agricultural biotechnology and information technol…
 
Returning to my ongoing series on Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, I discuss the events and meaning of the Corcyrean Revolution, including proxy war, ideological conflict, irreligion and fanaticism. The Maurin Academy’s next short series, on Agricultural biotechnology and information technology will start in late August. Sign up on Eve…
 
In this selection from the final session of Summer Seminar 2022 on Christian Anarchism, I discuss Dorothy Day’s background and motivation for co-founding the Catholic Worker movement with Peter Maurin. Dorothy Day is currently being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church, and there is a growing interest in her philosophy and work. The Maur…
 
In this segment from the fourth session of the Christian Anarchism Summer Seminar, I discuss the pros and cons of communities like the Amish and Bruderhof. The inherently exclusive nature of such communities is both heir strength and weakness. Is there any way to learn from them while doing something that includes more people and thus has more prom…
 
Abortion in the US is a part of the torn social fabric that pro-life Christians, along with everyone else, have created.Without taking real responsibility for that reality, the changes in state law will probably just make things worse. What would Christians have to do next to be truly pro-life and to abandon what Pope John Paul II called the cultur…
 
In this segment from the third session in the ongoing Summer Seminar, I discuss the Just War reasoning that argues against the pacifism held by most Christian Anarchists. Info on Christian Anarchism class (2022) and upcoming events: https://pmaurin.org/classes-and-events/ For more from us: https://pmaurin.org https://lauriemjohnson.com/ https://pol…
 
The second session of the Summer 2022 Christian Anarchism seminar went deeper into major themes in Christian Anarchism, including the importance of the Sermon on the Mount. The Jesus that emerges in that sermon is a revolutionary, but not the typical type. The ideas in the sermon and elsewhere in Jesus’ teaching reveal a God who wishes to help peop…
 
Americans hate when the state tells them what to do. They’ve got freer speech, freer access to guns and less regulation on business than any other rich country. So why do they let their work bosses walk all over them? American workers have less rights and worse conditions than workers in any other developed country. Employers can fire employees at …
 
This is a section of my ongoing seminar on Christian Anarchism, Summer 2022. Why is it so hard for people to break free of the liberal world view and actually see and take up the challenge, and the life and action-altering depth of a religious commitment? With their insistence that Christianity and government are not friends but foes, Christian ana…
 
A lot of pain and dehumanizing damage in the world takes place due to “technical rationality,” which Hannah Arendt referred to as the “banality of evil.” Here I discuss the baby formula shortage as an example of how “wicked problems” are caused by layers and layers of failures that can be traced back to a lack of fundamental responsibility. In our …
 
In the wake of the most recent pandemic, it’s important to realize that the political effects of plague have been known and discussed for a long time. Thucydides has something to say about the political effects of the fear and suffering that come from disease. This episode in the history of the Peloponnesian War gives us plenty to think about regar…
 
Matthew Stewart is a philosophy PhD and author. He’s also a Princeton guy and former management consultant so he knows rich people. His new book, The 9.9%, is about them. Not the super-rich, but the doctors, lawyers and managers that go to good colleges and live in nice neighbourhoods. The “nearly rich and not-famous,” as he puts it. We talk about …
 
A deep dive into J S Mill's relationship with socialism with Helen McCabe. We cover Mill's moral foundations, pre-Marxian Socialism, the nature and history of liberalism and socialism, their interpretation today, and if Mill's vision is a realizable one.Website:https://www.politicalphilosophypodcast.com/Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/PoliticalPhi…
 
Big tech companies tell us they’re our servants, existing to fulfill our desires more cheaply and conveniently than ever. Alfie Bown doesn’t think so. He thinks Deliveroo, Tinder, Pornhub etc. aren’t just giving us what we want, they’re shaping what we want. He reckons our tech overlords are secretly remaking humankind on the level of desire. We ch…
 
A deep dive into the philosophy of reparations with Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò. We cover the context & questions asked, Rawls, Nozick, arguments for equality, & harm repair vs constructivst accounts of reparations.Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKq83FUsCIM&t=3365sToby Buckle による
 
Is democracy the worst form of government except for all the others or is it just the worst? This is a crossover with the delightful Morality of Everyday Things podcast. Jake and Ant and I discuss what liberal democracy is, the arguments in its favour, and some big critiques. Episode includes Plato, Nazis and Lizards. Enjoy! Also, go listen to MOET…
 
A back and forth interview with Jack Symes of the Panpsycast Philosophy podcast on his new book Philosophers on Consciousness: Talking about the Mind.We start with our reflections on doing public philosophy and how we respond to criticism, the move on to the philosophy of consciousness. We end with a discussion of how we think about our minds might…
 
Rhetoric is supposed to inspire. Imagine Cicero exhorting the Roman people, Churchill vowing to “fight on the beaches.” Yet, when politicians speak today, it’s almost always boring or obnoxious. Why? Prof. Rob Goodman, author of Words on Fire: Eloquence and its Conditions comes by today to talk about the history of rhetoric, what Cicero knew that w…
 
It’s the holidays again! And Theory Elf Sep comes on to help celebrate them. We talk about the past year of working on the pod, where I've been for the past two months, how she makes the episode art and what we have planned for the coming year. We also call Rebecca! Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=35146517&fan_landing=true)…
 
Grizzly bears are scary. But what about zombie grizzly bears? What’s makes something horrifying rather than just frightening? Paul has a theory. It turns out that humans have a psychological way of organizing the world that also creates the possibility of getting really creeped-out. It helps explain the horror of the zombie grizzly why the old Drac…
 
This episode is about Susan Wolf’s 1982 article “Moral Saints.” You’re probably a moral enough person. But have you ever had that nagging feeling that you should be even better? That if you were really good, you would devote your life to the cause, whatever cause that might be? That you should become some kind of moral saint? People who devote thei…
 
Magdi Semrau joins me to discuss the politics of covid. Are the many restrictions due to the pandemic philosophically justifiable? Why have the political left and political right interpreted the crisis so differently and what does this tell us about the nature of conservatism and the future of liberalism?…
 
Today I speak with Earl Fontainelle of the Secret History of Western Esotericism podcast (SHWEP). I don’t understand Plato. Partly this is because he never writes in his own voice and partly it’s because I can’t even always tell when Socrates is joking or even what he’s talking about. The divided line? The Myth of Er? The tyrant being exactly 729 t…
 
A short promo episode for my first book- 'What is Freedom? conversations with Historians, Philosophers, & Activists' published with OUP, out November, and available to pre-order now. Featuring a foreword by Cecile Fabre and an introduction by me, the book includes contributions from Elizabeth Anderson, Mary Frances Berry, Ian Dunt, Michael Freeden,…
 
Is J S Mill's liberty principle bad political philosophy because he fails to define harm? I try to give this 'conventional' read a fair shake while also giving you my own view that the principle is . . . good, actually.On Liberty by Aquarusa - https://aquarusa.wordpress.com/2021/08/02/on-liberty-1859/Website - https://www.politicalphilosophypodcast…
 
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