As I have mentioned before, I am a big fan of listening to college courses from The Great Courses (previously known as the Teaching Company) and from other sources. I have listened to hundreds of courses, which has greatly expanded my learning.
While I enjoy listening to courses in a great variety of areas, I especially like it when it is an area of my scholarly interests, such as political theory. Happily, there are two courses – one recent, one out several years – that I strongly recommend in the political theory area.
The first course is “The Modern Political Tradition: Hobbes to Habermas,” given by Professor Lawrence Cahoone of Holy Cross. There is a lot to like about this course, especially for those on the right. It is clear, enjoyable, and fair minded: for a significant portion of the course, I was not even sure what Cahoone’s politics were. Perhaps the best feature is the coverage. He covers both the historically important thinkers as well as modern ones. Concerning the modern thinkers, he spends significant time on the right, discussing Oakeshott, Hayek, Rand and Nozick. But he also discusses important continental thinkers about whom I knew less, such as Habermas and Foucalt. And he does not slight other important thinkers, like Michael Walzer. Overall, a great course.