Georgeanna wrote: ↑
August 10th, 2018, 6:13 am
Lack of time is no excuse at all, if you really want to do something.
If you will it, do it. If you don't, don't.
However, I hope you do - reading the transcripts will take less time.
You will know it already - so your comments would be appreciated.
OK, so you shamed me into watching the intro, and it was worth it. I promise nothing more, but I hope you will encourage others to watch or read and comment. This is a great use of the forum.
My first question is, of course, don't they have bathrooms at Yale? His dancing and swaying back and forth is rather distracting, as is his habit of looking down at the paper every 2.3 seconds. But, I still prefer the feel of being in the class, and he had some good things to say.
He establishes quickly that political philosophy is philosophy, and more art than science. Thus, the great questions are seldom definitively answered (at least by those wise enough to see there are no easy answers to such questions). And, this means that great works of the past are seldom superseded by better knowledge, because it is all about wisdom, not simply knowledge of objective facts. Plato is still relevant to political philosophy, as Epictetus is still relevant to ethics, even as a few of their particular notions might have become outdated.
I did not expect to hear about God (Are they even allowed to bring up the subject in a modern university?).
I think it is in fact an important point of political philosophy and all philosophy. It doesn't mean you should ascribe to any particular God or religion, but consider the abstract idea of perfection to which we aspire through philosophy. If we were all perfectly virtuous, then political philosophy or all philosophy might become superfluous. But, most of us are much too anxious to rush off to science while virtue is unresolved. Much like God, even defining the ideal regime is difficult to impossible, but we are unlikely to make progress without searching for these ideals.
The search for the ideal regime is also the search for love? Man, have we missed the mark on that one! But, I think he has a point. The search for an ideal society is a search for God, in a way, in a general way, without the particulars of any religion, or even the need to define God as anything but perfect. The ideal regime is the one God would design, or at least endorse.
I also appreciated his idea of a good person vs. good citizen. A good person wants to do the right thing for humanity, but a good citizen only wants to do what best serves his country. I would have extended that idea to party as well as country. Actually, I see more fierce loyalty to party than to country in many cases; forget about being a cosmopolitan citizen of the world if you can't even extend the hand of friendship, respect, or common courtesy to your own countrymen (and many of us can not!). I do also see examples of good people, thankfully. Even these might be quicker to go against their country than their party, though, at least here in the states.
I give him two thumbs up for an interesting intro, and I'll probably check out some more of the course. You should keep us updated on your progress, and hopefully others will watch or read and join in the discussion.