Since ancient times, philosophers have struggled with the concept of the ideal society, or utopia. Many have contributed to the widely varying possibilities for just what such a system might entail. Religious, economic, and political structures all help to shape the composition of these utopias, and as these visions are shared, they impact the way subsequent utopias are envisioned. In this fascinating series of lectures, Professor Fred E. Baumann explores the "perfect" societies that have been described by great thinkers throughout history. His analysis provides insight on the nature of utopias and their place in society.
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by Professor Fred Baumann
by Professor John Ramsden
by Professor Geoffrey Hosking
by Professor Timothy B. Shutt
by Professor Betsey Dexter Dyer
by Professor Susan Johnston
by Professor M. Lee Alexander
by Professor William McKeen
by Professor Allen MacNeill
by Professor Michael Drout
"Early in this series of lectures on political utopias Professor Baumann warns listeners that some of his interpretations are idiosyncratic, representing his own view rather than that of mainstream scholarship. While this does happen--Baumann is more certain than many thinkers that he can tell when philosophers like Plato are being ironic, or even humorous--that's not what's likely to disrupt most listeners. Instead, it's the structure of Baumann's lectures. His knowledge of Plato, Thomas More, Skinner, and others is useful and detailed. He summarizes their ideal states and their contemporary implications well, but the actual lectures stop abruptly, even arbitrarily, at times. Also, Baumann lets himself go off on various tangents and parenthetical asides that may distract. G.T.B. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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