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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

Great refresher

Use these lectures in the summer before I start planning out unit plans for Civics and Law&Justice classes. Wish I’d been as interested in this content while an undergrad.

Wonderful lectures!

These lectures are equally informing as they are entertaining! I never tire of these lectures. Professor Smith gives an insightful and elucidating introduction to political philosophy, hitting on all the greats and asking the key questions. It helps that Professor Smith is an excellent speaker with good vocal quality.


Enlightening and refreshing. Professor smith should be cloned so more students can get a different perspective from the usual political correctness which so threatens free speech. This is a tour of great minds and thoughts presented in a user friendly manner.