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Political Philosophy - Audio

By Steven B. Smith

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(PLSC 114) This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which different political philosophies have given expression to various forms of political institutions and our ways of life are examined throughout the course. This class was recorded in Fall 2006.

Customer Reviews

Fascinating the way the lecturer brings these...

...far off thoughts to the present day, and makes them relatable and accessible, while presenting the profoundly deep questions.

PLEASE, Yale: hire a qualified sound engineer, ok? This is the second Yale lecture with wild swings in audio quality for no reason other than carelessness.


This series of lectures does an excellent job covering some of the best writings in political philosophy. The professor is entertaining, insightful, and faithful to the material. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in philosophy or politics.


Dr. Smith presents an engaging lecture series where he connects a wide range of philosophers throughout history in a logical and interesting progression. His lectures inspire further series on the subject.