show episodes
 
Good in Theory is a podcast about political philosophy and how it can help us understand the world today. Want to know what's in Plato's Republic or Hobbes's Leviathan but don't want to read them? This is your pod. I explain my favourite books in political theory in enough detail that you’ll feel like you read them yourself. Deep but not heavy. No experience needed.
 
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show series
 
I talk about a crush I had in Paris as a boy. Then Sep and I dig into Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Marcel Proust to explain what on earth was going on in my heart. Rousseau advises how to get from boner to bonheur. Proust explains why it’s easier to fall for someone you pass in a car than someone you actually have to talk to. We find out that the huma…
 
Jeffrey Bercuson is author of A History of Political Thought: Property, Labor, and Commerce from Plato to Piketty. This book does a whirlwind tour through the history of political thought explaining how different thinkers have approached the commercial or money-making part of human life. We talk about how attitudes have shifted from ancient sceptic…
 
Naomi Hamer of Ryerson University tells us an unfamiliar version of a classic fairy tale then chats about how children’s stories have changed and the different moral and political and economic factors that changed them. According to Hamer the seduction and cannibalism isn’t gone, it’s just less explicit. Also, “what big hands you have grandma!” is …
 
Sep of Sep’s Weird Movie Blog comes on to talk about Christmas movie and capitalist fairy tale, Trading Places. Sep is Good in Theory’s episode artist, editor, and BFF of the pod. Links: Sep's Twitter Trading Places trailer Zardoz trailer Roadhouse trailer My CBC Xmas article we mention Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=35146517&fan_…
 
This episode covers book 4 of Plato’s Republic. What does it mean to be a good person? What is justice? To answer these questions, Socrates and the boys have built imaginary cities, raised educated and nobly lied to armies, and sent them all to live in a camp. Today’s the day Socrates brings it all home and explains his definition of justice both i…
 
This episode covers the second half of book 3 of Plato’s Republic. Glaucon and Socrates develop a completely immersive education program for the guardians that controls every aspect of their social and physical environment. Then, they tell them it never happened because actually they were sleeping underground being built by the god to defend the ci…
 
Agnes Callard is a philosophy prof, Plato expert and public philosopher. We talk about the relationship between politics and philosophy (it’s complicated), why nobody should trust philosophers (they don’t know anything), and why human beings can’t even think something without someone else telling them they’re wrong. We mention Callard’s op-eds: “Sh…
 
This episode covers parts of books 2 and 3 of Plato’s Republic. Adeimantus and Socrates start planning an education for the guardians. As it stands, young Athenians are fed an unhealthy banquet of lies written by the likes of Homer and Hesiod. Socrates wants new lies that set a good example for the kids. Lies with less fighting and sex and crying. …
 
This episode covers the first part of book 2 of Republic. Glaucon and Adeimantus take over the conversation with Socrates and challenge him to prove that it’s good to be good. Glaucon gets wild with a ring of invisibility. The gang builds a utopian city of pigs and meets an army of good-natured dogs. Pod Art: Marijke Bouchier Theme music: David Zik…
 
(covers the second half of book 1 of Plato's Republic) In this episode, Socrates goes up against his most formidable opponent yet: the sophist Thrasymachus. Thrasymachus leaps at Socrates “like a wild beast” and yells at him for playing dirty. Then, he tells the boys that morality is a lie and that they should do as much injustice as they can get a…
 
Plato’s Republic is full of bad arguments and worse political proposals and it may still be the most influential work of political theory ever. Book 1 sets the stage for an all-night conversation between Socrates and some friends that covers: ethics; politics; education; epistemology; psychology; and a whole lot more. It all gets started with the q…
 
9 - Athens: Ahoy Polloi! The Athenians ran their government like an open mic night, pulled off one of the greatest golden ages in human history and show why true democrats hate elections. The secret sauce of Athenian greatness? Seamen. Lots of seamen. Old Oligarch: Alan Mark at Tankards n Tales Art: Marijke Bouchier Music: David Zikotivz, Clayton T…
 
The Spartans are legendary fighters and legendary patriots. They believed in equality, meritocracy, and freedom. They also ran the most brutal slave state in the ancient world. Their secret? Institutions! Art: Marijke Bouchier Music: David Zikotivz, Clayton Tapp, and The Green Hornet Theme. Editing, episode art and social: Sepideh References: -Plut…
 
Rebecca Goldstein wrote a book of Platonic dialogues, in which Plato is on a 21st-century book tour in America. It’s called Plato at the Googleplex. We talk about Plato and whether you can do philosophy and politics at the same time, and the Harper’s letter in favour of “open debate” that Goldstein signed and Twitter got mad about. We discuss when,…
 
The Greeks invented political liberty and everyone loves them for it. Were they freedom-loving geniuses? Maybe. Were they farm boys who could handle a spear? Yes. Were they deep in debt and looking for a way out? Absolutely. Art: Marijke Bouchier Music: David Zikovitz and Clayton Tapp Editing, episode art and social: Sepideh Support the show (https…
 
Executing an innocent 70-year-old philosophy might look bad but you had to be there. Topics include: Why a reasonable, well-intentioned Athenian may have voted to kill Socrates. Why politics might get interested in you, even if you’re not interested in politics. The difference between morality tales and philosophy tales. Art: Marijke Bouchier Music…
 
A lot of Athenians suspect Socrates of plotting to overthrow democracy. On the other hand, Socrates says that when Athenians start thinking politics, they turn into a paranoid mob. This episode covers both sides and it honestly sounds like Socrates is complaining about Twitter. Topics: -Why people who are into politics are so annoying. -How the “po…
 
Some people think that philosophy is an outrage to religion and a danger to morality. Was this why the Athenians killed Socrates? Are these ever good reasons to kill a philosopher? Do people say philosophy is dangerous just to make it sound sexier? Pod art: Marijke Bouchier Music: David Zikotivz and Clayton Tapp Editing, episode art, social: Sepide…
 
Socrates insults his jury, dares them to sentence him to death, then makes fun of them when they do. Unswerving commitment to truth? Troll’s defence? Suicide by jury? All of the above? Part 2 of a 4-part series on Plato’s Apology. Bill and Ted trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3fx6TugN7g Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3514…
 
Socrates, daddy of Greek philosophy, is on trial for impiety and corrupting the youth. According to him, his only crime was trolling the city of Athens. The Apology is an account of Socrates’s court defence, told by his student Plato. This is part 1 of a 4-part series on this book. Text of Plato’s Apology: http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html…
 
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