File spoon-archives/avant-garde.archive/avant-garde_1996/96-11-03.013, message 91

Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 12:04:54 -0400
Subject: Home or Auto Didact

   The Economist, 19 October 1996, p. 91.


   The Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition

   (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Moses, Jesus, Marcus
   Aurelius, Augustine, Aquinas, More, Machiavelli, Bacon,
   Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Newton, Locke, Berkeley,
   Hume, Smith, Rousseau, Kant, Burke, Montesquieu, Hegel,
   Marx, Mill, Kierkegaard, Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche, James,
   Ayers, Quine, Wittgenstein, Weber, Habermas, Kuhn, Rorty,
   Foucault, Rawls, Levi-Strauss. etc.)

   ...taught by 6 widely acclaimed lecture professors on
   audio and video cassettes

   [Photo] Darren Staloff, Ph.D., City College of New York

   [Photo] Michael Sugrue, Ph.D., Princeton University

   [Photo] Dennis Dalton, Ph.D. Barnard College/Columbia

   [Photo] Alan Charles Kors, Ph. D., University of

               The Superstar Faculty Also Includes:
           Robert Oden, Ph.D., President, Kenyon College
         Elizabeth McNamer, Ph.D., Rocky Mountain College


   WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE? What is the best *kind* of
   life? Who or what is God? What is the essence of justice?
   When is it legitimate for one person to have power over
   others? Can any of these questions be answered?

   These are basic riddles of human experience that
   thoughtful men and women have pondered since the dawn of

   You too must have asked yourself questions like these
   many times. And perhaps you once vowed that some day you
   would plow through *all* the great thinkers of the
   Western world and find your own answers.

   But you know you never will. Frankly, it would require a
   minimum of several years of withdrawal from active life,
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   Now, at last, here is a feasible way to enjoy the
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   Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition*.

   The series is composed of 70 lectures, covering more than
   40 of the great minds of the Western world. Each lecture
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   Over half of the lectures are delivered by Professors
   Darren Staloff and Michael Sugrue, who for several years
   electrified students at Columbia University with their
   sweeping canvas of Western intellectual development. Then
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   recordings of America's SuperStar Teachers.

   The result is a definitive survey of Western thought by
   an all-star teaching team with no equal in lecturing
   skill at any single college campus anywhere else in the

   With these video or audio recordings of six of America's
   most widely acclaimed college lecture professors as your
   guides, you can now follow down through the centuries of
   mankind's great debate over the meaning of life, and how
   the ideas put forth shaped and developed our Western
   civilization of today.

   Just listening to these lectures -- whether you decide to
   supplement them by browsing through the texts of the
   works discussed or not -- will give you a grasp of the
   intellectual history of the Western world possessed by as
   few as one out of every thousand Americans.


                       The Curriculum

   PART I: Ancient Philosophy and Faith: From Athens to

   Introduction to the Problems & Scope of Philosophy; The
   Old Testament; The Gospels of Mark & Matthew; Paul: His
   World; Presocratics: Ionian Speculation & Eliatic
   Metaphysics; Republic I: Justice, Power & Knowledge;
   Republic II-V: Soul & City; Republic VI-X: The
   Architecture of Reality; Aristotle's Metaphysical Views;
   Aristotle's Politics: The Golden Mean & Just Rule; Marcus
   Aurelius' *Meditations. The Stoic Ideal; Augustine's
   *City of God*: Grace, Original Sin & Theodicy

   Course No. 401. Video or Audio

   PART II: The Age of Faith to The Age of Reason

   Aquinas' *Summa Theologica*: The Thomist Synthesis & Its
   Political & Social Content; More's *Utopia*: Reason &
   Social Justice; Machiavelli's *The Prince*: Political
   Realism, Political Science & the Renaissance; Bacon's
   *New Organon*: The Call for a New Science; Descartes'
   Epistemology & the Mind-Body Problem; Hobbes' *Leviathan:
   Of Man*; Hobbes' *Leviathan: Of the Common-wealth*;
   Spinoza's Ethics: Metaphysics & the Path to Salvation;
   The Newtonian Revolution; The Early Enlightenment & the
   Search for the Laws of History: Vico's *New Science of
   History*; Pascal's *Pensees*; The Philosophy of G.W.

   Course No. 402. Video or Audio

   PART III: The Enlightenment and Its Critics

   Locke's Theory of Knowledge; Locke's Political Theory;
   Montesquieu & the Beginnings of Political Science;
   Berkeley's Idealism & the Critique of Materialism; Hume's
   Epistemology; Hume's Theory of Morality; Smith's *Wealth
   of Nations*; Rousseau's Dissent: The Challenge to the
   Idea of Progress; Kant's "Copernican Revolution":
   Epistemology & the Critique of Metaphysics; Kant's Moral
   Philosophy; Burke & the Birth of Enlightened
   Conservatism; Naturalism & Materialism: The Boundaries of
   the Enlightenment

   Course No. 403. Video or Audio

   PART IV: Philosophy in the Epoch of Ideology

   Comte & the Origins of Sociology; Hegel: The
   Phenomenology of Geist; Hegel's Philosophy of History;
   Marx & the Problem of Alienation & Ideology; Marx's
   Historical Materialism; Kierkegaard's Christian
   Existentialism; Schopenhauer: The World as Will & Idea;
   The Classical Doctrine of Liberal Democracy: John Stuart
   Mill's *On Liberty & Utilitarianism*; The Darwinian
   Revolution in Social Thought: William Graham Sumner;
   Weber's Historical Sociology; Freud & Philosophy

   Course No. 404. Video or Audio

   PART V: Modernism and the Age of Analysis: Beginnings

   Nietzsche's Critique of Christianity: The Genealogy of
   Morals; Nietzsche's Perspectivalism & Critique of
   Philosophy; James' Pragmatism; Gadamer Hermeneutics & the
   Human Sciences; Bergson's Elan Vital & Vitalism; John
   Dewey's *Reconstruction in Philosophy*; The Pragmatic
   Critique of Traditional Philosophy; Levi-Strauss:
   Structuralist Anthropology; Husserl: Phenomenology & the
   Life-World; Heidegger Being & Time; A. J. Ayer's
   Language, Truth & Logic; The Latter Wittgenstein: The
   Philosophy of Language; The Frankfurt School

   Course No. 405. Video or Audio

   PART VI: Modernism and the Age of Analysis: Conclusions

   Kuhn's Paradigm Paradigm; Habermas' Critical Theory;
   Barthes, Semiotics & the Revolt Against Structuralism;
   Social Justice & Social Democracy in Contemporary Times:
   *A Theory of Justice* by John Rawls; Alvin Gouldner's
   *Dark Side of the Dialectic*: Social Theory; Renegade
   Sociology & Outlaw Marxism; Foucault: Power, Knowledge &
   Post-Structuralism; Quines Ontological Relativism & the
   End of"Philosophy"; Rorty's Neo-Pragmatism; Jean-Francois
   Lyotard: the Post-Modern Condition; Conclusion: The
   Theory of Knowledge & Language; Conclusion: Political,
   Social & Cultural Criticism & Theory

   Course No. 406. Video or Audio

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