Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Political Science - UCLA podcast review

I am indebted to Dara of Do It Yourself Scholar for heading me to this political science course at UCLA. The course is from 2007, but is timeless and therefore no less valuable this year around. I have not yet been able to go through the whole course (far from it), but felt I needed not to wait and point you to it.

Political Science 10 is taught by the Canadian professor Brian Douglas Walker, who displays an immediately recognizable Canadian accent and throws his background in occasionally, but this (so far) never bothers. Aside from this warning, there is another thing you need to be aware of: the lectures do not necessarily appear out of the feed into your reader (for example iTunes) in their proper order. If however, you read the titles well, you will discern the lecture date and find which order to follow. In my case, the first lecture came out in third place, but again, with the date in the title, you cannot go wrong.

Very valuable I found the second lecture where Walker typifies Greek philosophy and effectively brings home what is so profoundly special about it. In simple terms: the Greeks discovered theory and as a result, until this very day, Western thinking is obsessed with abstract constructions, logic, reasoning and argumentation. Plato kicks this off, but Walker moves on, pretty quickly to Aristotle, who has had the greatest influence (on him). Of course, even with the clear speaker and the high quality audio, this lecture series, as always with this kind of series, requires intense listening.

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