In episode #13, Jordan discusses the trial and death of Socrates by exploring some of Plato's best known early dialogues—the Euthyphro, the Apology, and the Crito. He also gives listeners a tutorial on the Socratic method. And finally, we look at the major differences between Plato and Aristotle, with a special focus on how these two philosophers rest at the center of the Western literary canon.
Liberty Lounge #7: Don Watkins on Capitalism, Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, and the Meaning of America
Author and philosopher Don Watkins joins the Western Canon Podcast to discuss the morality of capitalism, the founding philosophy, the liberty movement in America, and why Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead is a great book.
Don Watkins is an Objectivist and was a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute from 2006 to 2017. He later worked for the Center for Industrial Progress and the Heartland Institute. His many books include Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government (Macmillan, 2012); Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality (St. Martins Press, 2016); and In Pursuit of Wealth: The Moral Case for Finance (Ayn Rand Institute, 2017). Watkins has contributed to Forbes, The Guardian, USA Today, Fox News, CNBC, The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, The Washington Times, and other media outlets. In early 2014, Watkins launched the 'End the Debt Draft' campaign, promoting his goal of ending government welfare in order to end government debt, which he sees as imposing on young Americans an unearned and immoral obligation in a similar way to the military draft. His book, RooseveltCare: How Social Security is Sabotaging the Land of Self-Reliance, was published in June 2014.
Was Aristotle an objectivist? Was Ayn Rand Aristotelian? Professor Gregory Salmieri joins the Western Canon Podcast to discuss Aristotle's philosophy, with a special focus on how it relates to objectivist thought. My guest discusses teleology, virtue ethics, whether it is possible to be both an Aristotelian and a romantic, and how different political camps have misunderstood Aristotle's thought. Dr. Salmieri also responds to my last guest, the renowned classicist Edith Hall, who claimed that there is a direct line from Aristotle to Marx. Where does objectivism depart from Aristotle's philosophy? Are the two philosophies compatible?
Dr. Salmieri is a senior philosophy scholar and director of the Objectivity Program at the Salem Center at the University of Texas, Austin. After completing his PhD in philosophy at The University of Pittsburgh—that’s a good philosophy program, or so I hear—after completing his PhD, he taught philosophy at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Boston University, and Rutgers University before joining the center. He is co-editor of Foundation of a Free Society and A Companion to Ayn Rand, and he’s published on issues related to epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy, especially as they arise in connection to the work of Aristotle and of Ayn Rand. He’s been on the Rubin Report numerous times and is a regular contributor and speaker for the Ayn Rand Institute. Visit www.westerncanonpodcast.com for more episodes, interview, and resources!
Classicist James Kierstead joins the program to discuss his definition of Western Civilization. In recent times, the idea that there is even such a thing as "Western Civilization" has come under fire. These deconstructionists claim that the term itself is slippery and that any attempt to speak about or teach Western Civilization as a discipline is misguided. In this episode, James defends the idea of Western Civilization and explains how we can draw sensible boundaries around this tradition while recognizing and learning from other traditions. James is Senior Lecturer in Classics at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and the current coordinator of Heterodox Classics, an initiative endorsed by the organization Heterodox Academy. James specializes in Greek history and classical Athens and in political philosophy and democratic political theory. He’s a graduate of Stanford University, as well as Oxford University.
Visit www.westerncanonpodcast.com for more videos, interviews, and articles! Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel!
Also, don't forget, you can listen to us on Stitcher and Podbay. If you enjoy the program, please consider becoming a patron of the show. Visit https://www.patreon.com/user?u=350774... to donate!
Carl Trueman joins the Western Canon Podcast to discuss his new book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution (Crossway).
Dr. Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of philosophy and religious studies at Grove City College. He is an esteemed church historian and previously served as the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and Public Life at Princeton University. Trueman has authored or edited more than a dozen books and has written for First Things Magazine and other outlets. Visit www.westerncanonpodcast.com for more videos, interviews, and articles! Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Also, don't forget, you can listen to us on iTunes and Stitcher. If you enjoy the program, please consider becoming a patron of the show. Visit https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3507741 to donate!
Classicist Edith Hall joins the Western Canon Podcast again to discuss her book Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life. In the conversation, we discuss Aristotle's approach to happiness and the good life, his theory of justice, and his political philosophy, as well as his take on topics like inequality.
Dr. Hall is a British scholar of classics, specializing in Ancient Greek literature and history, and Professor in the Department of Classics and Centre for Hellenic Studies at King's College London. From 2006 until 2011 she held a Chair at University of London, where she founded and directed the Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome. In 2012 she was awarded a Humboldt Research Prize to study ancient Greek theatre in the Black Sea, and in 2014 she was elected to the Academy of Europe. Known for her humorous style of lecturing, Hall has made many television and radio appearances, as well as acting as consultant for professional theatre productions by the National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Live Theatre in Newcastle, and Theatercombinat in Germany. In February 2014 she appeared on BBC2 Newsnight and recited a newly discovered poem of Sappho in ancient Greek. Her central research interests are in ancient Greek literature, especially Homer, tragedy, comedy, satyr drama, Ancient Literary Criticism and Rhetoric, Herodotus and Xenophon, although her publications discuss many other ancient authors including Lucian, Plutarch, Artemidorus, Menander, Thucydides, Plato and Aristotle, and other ancient evidence including meter and versification, papyri, vase-paintings and inscriptions. Aristophanes is the person she would most like to meet from the ancient world.
This episode combines lectures 1-5 in my Modern Philosophers Series. These lectures come from a course I teach called Philosophy 101. This episode examines the post-Cartesian philosophical idealism of Irish philosopher George "Bishop" Berkeley (1685-1753), the epistemology and empiricism of the English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), the empiricist theories of Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), and the transcendental idealism of German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). I also discuss classic philosophical ideas, including the analytic/synthetic distinction, a priori vs. a posteriori, and the transcendental ideality of space and time.
In episode #6 of the Liberty Lounge, we take an in-depth look at how libertarian ideas have influenced science fiction literature. We explore the history of libertarian science fiction, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to the Golden Age of the pulps, up through the New Wave and the Golden Age Redux of the 1980s. Why have so many science fiction authors identified as libertarian? Is the connection necessary or contingent? What do Ronald Reagan and Robert A. Heinlein have in common? Tune into this episode to find out!
In episode #5 of the Liberty Lounge, Jonah Goldberg joins the Western Canon Podcast to discuss the future of conservatism and the GOP, with an in-depth look at the New Right. We discuss Patrick Deneen, populism, liberalism, John Locke, Federalism, and many other exciting topics. Thanks for listening, and remember to subscribe to our Youtube channel! Don't forget, we are also on Stitcher (https://www. stitcher.com/podcast/jord an-alexander-hill/the-western-canon-podcast)
Jonah Goldberg is an American syndicated columnist, author, political analyst, and commentator. He is Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of The Dispatch and was the founding editor of National Review Online. He also has a regular column at the LA Times. He holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute, where he is a fellow. He is the host of The Remnant podcast.
Goldberg is also a regular contributor on news networks such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, appearing on various television programs including Good Morning America, Nightline, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Real Time with Bill Maher, Larry King Live, Your World with Neil Cavuto, the Glenn Beck Program, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Goldberg is an occasional guest on a number of Fox News shows such as The Five, The Greg Gutfeld Show, and Outnumbered. He is also a frequent panelist on Special Report with Bret Baier.
He is the author of three books, including his most recent, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy. (2018, Crown Publishing); The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. (2012, Penguin books); and Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (2008, Crown Publishing).
In episode #4 of the Liberty Lounge, Dr. Kevin Gutzman joins the Western Canon Podcast to discuss his book Thomas Jefferson, Revolutionary: A Radical’s Struggle to Remake America, as well as his book James Madison and the Making of America. Along the way, he discusses the philosophy of the founders, constitutional originalism, the dangers of the current administrative state, and the future of American conservatism. Professor Gutzman also weighs in on the Sohrab Ahmari (nationalist populism) vs. David French (classical liberalism) conflict.
Kevin R. C. Gutzman is the New York Times best-selling author of 5 books. Gutzman is Professor and former Chair in the History Department at Western Connecticut State University and a faculty member at LibertyClassroom.com. He holds a bachelor's degree, a master of public affairs degree, and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an MA and PhD in American history from the University of Virginia.
His first book was New York Times best-seller The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. His second book is Virginia’s American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840. After that, he co-authored Who Killed the Constitution? The Federal Government vs. American Liberty from World War I to Barack Obama with Thomas E. Woods, Jr. His fourth book James Madison and the Making of America received positive reviews from The Wall Street Journal, The Journal of Southern History, The Washington Times, and numerous other publications. His latest book Thomas Jefferson—Revolutionary: A Radical’s Struggle to Remake America was published in 2017.
Gutzman's essay “Lincoln as Jeffersonian: The Colonization Chimera” appeared in Lincoln Emancipated: The President and the Politics of Race, and his “James Madison and Ratification: A Triumph Over Adversity” appeared in A Companion to James Madison and James Monroe. His scholarly articles have appeared in The Journal of Southern History, The Journal of the Early Republic, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, The Review of Politics, and The Journal of the Historical Society, among other publications. He has written a hundred book reviews for outlets scholarly and popular and has contributed three dozen essays to historical encyclopedias. Gutzman has written for numerous popular magazines and newspapers.
Gutzman has appeared on hundreds of radio programs, such as NPR’s “Backstory With the American History Guys” and national television programs including C-SPAN 2's “BookTV,” CNN's “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Fox News's “The Glenn Beck Program” (both with Beck and with Judge Andrew Napolitano), NewsMax TV, and BBC. He has been interviewed by reporters from major outlets such as AP, Washington Times, Philadelphia Enquirer, Washington Post, Hartford Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, Investor's Business Daily, Money Magazine, and The New York Times, among others.
Gutzman was a featured expert in the documentary movies “John Marshall: Citizen, Statesman, Jurist” and “Nullification: The Rightful Remedy.”
In episode #10 of The Western Canon Podcast, Jordan presents an in-depth review and exploration of Jonah Goldberg's new book The Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Nationalism, Populism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy. Using Goldberg's book, listeners are treated to an examination of the values and ideals that underpin the West and make possible the prosperity and flourishing that characterize the modern Western world. The episode includes a lengthy interview with historian, podcast host, and New York Times best-selling author Dr. Thomas E. Woods. Also, tune in for the show's first ever mailbag segment. Here Jordan, in what will become a regular segment, responds to the questions and thoughts of listeners.
Interview: "Tom Woods on Natural Rights, Property, Social Contracts, Libertarianism, and the Constitution"
Thomas E. Woods--historian, political commentator, New York Times best-selling author, and host of The Tom Woods Show--joins the Western Canon Podcast to discuss several topics, including his background, his thoughts on the Libertarian Party, the Lockean theory of natural rights, the U.S. founders, Robert Nozick, Social Contract Theory, property rights, subsidiarity, constitutional originalism (“intent” vs. “textual” originalism), Trump, and much more. Please subscribe to our Youtube channel. Remember, we are also on Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/jordan-alexander-hill/the-western-canon-podcast) as well.
Creating and producing a professional-caliber podcast is not easy or cheap. If you care about the foundational stories, ideas, and principles of Western civilization, and wish to see their cultural value reinstated, please consider funding us on Patreon.
Interview: Mark Bauerlein on the Crisis of Higher Ed, the Decline of the Humanities, and Jordan Peterson
Mark Bauerlein joins the Western Canon Podcast to discuss the current crisis facing higher education and the decline of the humanities, which has been brought about by the rising cost of college, the growth of university administration, the decline of a high intellectual culture, the rise of identity politics, and hyper political correctness. In this interview, Dr. Bauerlein and Jordan Alexander Hill attempt to diagnose the problem and come up with some possible solutions. They also discuss the podcast revolution and how the alternative internet media is filling the gaps created by universities, institutions that have abdicated their responsibility to provide students with a sound liberal education.
Dr. Mark Bauerlein is a prolific writer, Emory University professor, and senior editor at First Things Magazine; he runs the magazine's new podcast First Thoughts. He has published several books, including his most famous and controversial one, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don 't Trust Anyone Under 30). He has worked for the National Endowment of Arts, and he writes regularly for popular periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post, TLS, The Claremont Review of Books, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among other outlets.
In this second episode of the Liberty Lounge, we continue to explore the philosophical and political theories of the American founding fathers as we work our way through Thomas G. West's book The Political Theory of the American Founding. Jordan uses West's book as a jumping off point to explore John Locke's theory of natural rights, with the aim of answering the following questions:
-What is the difference between classical liberalism and modern liberalism?
-Is there a conflict between equality and liberty?
-Is inequality necessary? If so, what do we mean when we pursue equality?
-How do governments emerge from a "state of nature"?
-How do rights emerge from a "state of nature"?
-What is a "right"?
-Are natural rights universal? Are they objective facts?
-Who was right--Rousseau, Hobbes, or Locke? And why?
-What makes the American political system and the U.S. Constitution special?
-How do property rights emerge from a "state of nature"?
-Why do we need property rights to be free?
-Is taxation moral?
-Do men truly wish to be free?
The Liberty Lounge is a segment of The Western Canon podcast dedicated to reviewing great books that focus on the principles of liberty and freedom. In the first two (2) episodes, we look closely at the brilliant enlightenment ideas--such as natural rights, ordered liberty, limited government, equality, and virtue--that typified the founders' thought and went into the drafting of documents like The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. If you enjoyed episode #2 of the Liberty Lounge, check out episode #1 at the following link: https://youtu.be/bUfPblXVwWU. Visit www.westerncanonpodcast.com for more info!
Interview: "Author Faith Moore on Saving Cinderella: What Feminists Get Wrong About Disney Princesses And How To Set It Right"
Writer and former educator Faith Moore joins The Western Canon Podcast to discuss her new book Saving Cinderella: What Feminists Get Wrong About Disney Princesses And How To Set It Right. In this interview, Faith describes a shift that has taken place in popular culture, as a small but very vocal minority of radical feminists have seized hold of the narrative, slandering Disney princess movies as toxic, regressive, and fundamentally “anti-feminist.” Faith explains why this view is completely wrong, and makes the case that feminists have misread and misunderstood classic Disney films, which are meant to be read symbolically. In the end, listeners will learn why young people--and young women in particular--need classic Disney princess films now more than ever.
Dr. Nathan Schlueter, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Hillsdale College, joins The Western Canon Podcast to discuss the great ideas of Plato's Republic. Dr. Schlueter also explains why the Republic continues to be so relevant and why Western civilization needs Plato today. Visit www.westerncanonpodcast.com to listen to our catalogue of episodes, access resources, and view interviews with various guests.
Nathan Schlueter is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Hillsdale College, where he directs the pre-law program and also teaches courses in social and political philosophy, ethical theory and philosophy and literature. He is a recipient of Hillsdale College’s “Daugherty Award for Teaching Excellence.” Nathan has a B.A. in History from Miami University of Ohio (1993) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Dallas (1999). He is the author of One Dream or Two? Justice in America and in the Thought of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Lexington Books, 2002), The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry, edited with Mark Mitchell (ISI Books, 2011), and co-author, with Nikolai Wenzel, of Selfish Libertarians and Socialist Conservatives: The Foundations of the Libertarian-Conservative Debate (Stanford University Press, 2017). His articles have appeared in First Things, Touchstone, Logos, Communio, Public Discourse and Perspectives in Political Science. Nathan has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities (2005) and Princeton University (2011). He is currently working on his next book Playing with Fire: The Peril and Promise of the Utopian Imagination. He and his wife Elizabeth, who is a homemaker and homeschooler, have eight children.
Plato’s Republic (380 BC) is easily Plato's best-known work, and has proven to be one of the most influential works in the Western canon. The Republic is a Socratic dialogue that focuses on questions of justice: What would a just city-state look like? How should a just man behave? But this monumental work also touches on broad variety of other themes like metaphysics, knowledge, truth, the soul, immortality, the role of the philosopher, education, poetry, and many other topics. In Episode #9 of The Western Canon Podcast, we begin our examination of Plato's Republic by speaking with Hillsdale College Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Dr. Nathan Schlueter. Also, joining us to discuss Plato's influence on Christianity is Oxford classicist Spencer Klavan. Visit www.westerncanonpodcast.com for more!
The Liberty Lounge is a new segment (of The Western Canon podcast) dedicated to reviewing great books that focus on the principles of liberty and freedom. We kick off this first Liberty Lounge segment by reviewing a fantastic book by Thomas G. West called The Political Theory of the American Founding. This episode is the first of a three-part series that will go in-depth with West's book, using it as a catalyst for discussing the political principles and philosophical ideas of the founding fathers. In these three episodes, we look closely at the brilliant enlightenment ideas--such as natural rights, ordered liberty, limited government, equality, and virtue--that typified the founders' thought and went into the drafting of documents like The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Federalist Papers.
In Episode #8 of The Western Canon Podcast, Gina Santiago, our Western Canon correspondent, stops by to talk about the philosophy of tragedy, specifically what Plato and Aristotle had to say about the subject. Later in the show, Jordan speaks with bestselling author and Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute, Yaron Brook, who joins the show to discuss many topics, including Ayn Rand’s philosophy--her approach to epistemology and ethics--as well as his own work. Yaron gives his thoughts on the inequality debate, Jordan Peterson, Jonathan Haidt, and how Objectivism can combat groupthink and a dangerous intellectual monoculture that is suppressing thought and stymying debate at our modern universities. Lastly, we end episode #8 with a segment called the Liberty Lounge. This is a new segment dedicated to reviewing great books that focus on the principles of liberty and freedom. We kick off this first Liberty Lounge segment by reviewing a fantastic book by Thomas G. West called The Political Theory of the American Founding.
This is the first installment of the “Guide to Great Books Colleges,” a new segment produced by The Western Canon Podcast. The “Guide to Great Books Colleges” is a practical resource for students and parents to the colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer students an education rooted in the Western literary and philosophical tradition. In this segment, host Jordan Alexander Hill takes listeners on a tour of those schools out there that still expose students to "the Great Conversation of history." The institutions included in this monthly segment are schools that have high expectations and standards; schools dedicated to transmitting critical thinking skills and wisdom; schools that teach students how to read well, write well, and think well; and schools that help students discover the good, the beautiful, and the true. In “Part 1,” Jordan offers a defense of the traditional liberal arts education and reviews three of our nation’s premier Great Books colleges. The first three to make the list are the University of Chicago, St. Olaf College, and Hillsdale College.
One of the most powerful and enduring of Greek tragedies, the Medea centers on the myth of Jason, leader of the Argonauts, who has won the dragon-guarded treasure of the Golden Fleece with the help of the sorceress Medea. Having married Medea and fathered her two children, Jason abandons her for a more favorable match, never suspecting the brutal and horrific revenge she will take. In episode #7, we do a lengthy summary and analysis of Euripides' Medea and we take a look at the play's mythic background. Joining us to discuss Euripides, the Medea, and the art of translation is Euripides translator and classics scholar Diane Arnson Svarlien. Listeners also get to experience the first part of a new and ongoing Western Canon Podcast segment called A Guide to Great Books Colleges. In this first segment, Jordan offers a defense of the traditional liberal arts education and reviews three of our nation's premier great books colleges.
In this interview, Dr. Diane Arnson Svarlien discusses her love of the classics, her work as a translator, Greek Tragedy, the playwright Euripides, and the Medea. Dr. Arnson Svarlien is a verse translator and classicist who lives in Lexington, Kentucky. Her translations of poets like Sappho, Semonides, Theocritus, Catullus, Horace, and Ovid have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present (Norton, 2010). She has published three collections of translations of the plays of Euripides--the first is called Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus (published in 2007), the second is Andromache, Hecuba, Trojan Women (2012), and the third is Ion, Helen, Orestes, all put out by Hackett Publishing. Diane Arnson Svarlien has taught at Georgetown College, and she studied at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her Ph.D in Classics and her MA in Greek; she also studied at the University of Virginia, where she earned her BA in English and Classics. She was awarded a Literature Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2010.
Who was Euripides? And how should we think about his legacy in contrast with the other two major 5th century Greek tragedians, Aeschylus and Sophocles? In episode #6, Oxford Classicist Spencer Klavan joins the program to discuss Euripides, City Dionysia, and the music of ancient Greek tragedy. In this interview, Spencer, whose work focuses on the relationship between words and melody in Hellenistic scholarship, practices his singing chops and gives listeners a feel for how ancient Greek music sounded and how it interacted with other elements of tragic drama. Spencer and Jordan also discuss the function of tragedy according to Aristotle and other thinkers from within the Western tradition.
British classicist and best-selling author Edith Hall joins episode 5 of The Western Canon Podcast to discuss 5th century Athenian tragedy, City Dionysia, her approach to scholarship, her "small m" Marxist approach to history, as well as her book, Introducing the Ancient Greeks.
About the Show:
The Western Canon is a monthly podcast dedicated to examining the timeless stories, ideas, and thinkers of the Western literary tradition. Working chronologically through "the great conversation of history," each episode focuses on a distinct canonical work, set of works, or intellectual period. Featuring lively summary, literary analysis, philosophical discussion, and guest commentary, the show also tackles social and political issues related to Western civilization, the modern university, free speech, well-being, and much more. Educate your mind and feed your soul by tuning in with Jordan Alexander Hill, Gina Santiago, and special guests on the 1st of every month!