Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy [TTC Audio]
13 May 2018, 04:33
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 13 hours and 30 minutes | 389.73MB
The science fiction genre has become increasingly influential in mainstream popular culture, evolving into one of the most engaging storytelling tools we use to think about technology and consider the shape of the future. Along the way, it has also become one of the major lenses we use to explore important philosophical questions.
The origins of science fiction are most often thought to trace to Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, a story born from a night of spooky tale-telling by the fireside that explores scientific, moral, and ethical questions that were of great concern in the 19th century - and that continue to resonate today. And, although novels and short stories built the foundations of science fiction, film and television have emerged as equally powerful, experimental, and enjoyable ways to experience the genre. Even as far back as the silent era, films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis have used science fiction to tell stories that explore many facets of human experience.
In Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy David Kyle Johnson, of King's College, takes you on a 24-lecture exploration of the final frontiers of philosophy across several decades of science fiction in film and television. From big-budget blockbusters to television series featuring aliens in rubber masks, Professor Johnson finds food for philosophical thought in a wide range of stories. By looking at serious questions through astonishing tales and astounding technologies, you will see how science fiction allows us to consider immense, vital - and sometimes controversial - ideas with a rare combination of engagement and critical distance.
Athenian Democracy: An Experiment for the Ages [TTC Audio]
13 May 2018, 04:21
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 12 hours and 40 minutes | 361.98MB
Roughly 2,500 years ago, the Athenian people established a radical democracy in which power derived from the votes of everyday citizens. At a time when local governments ranged from oligarchy to tyranny, the elite classes of Athens gradually ceded power to the inexperienced masses, whose votes served as referendums for everything from taxation to war to welfare. The sequence of events that led to this development is astonishing, and the society that flourished under Athenian democracy is one of the greatest - even if greatly flawed - achievements in world history.
Today, when the foundations of our own democracy are under greater and greater scrutiny, the Athenian experiment in citizen rule offers a powerful object lesson in national politics. How did the Athenian system of democracy work? What were its strengths and weaknesses? And how does it compare to democracy in our world today? Athenian Democracy: An Experiment for the Ages answers these questions and more with 24 captivating lectures. Professor Robert Garland of Colgate University takes us back to ancient Greece and unpacks the development and workings of Athenian democracy. You'll witness the story of history through the lens of Athenian government, going inside the assemblies and courts to find out how democracy worked - and where it came up short.
You may be familiar with the broad strokes of Athenian history, but Professor Garland's unique lens offers a wealth of insights into everything from taxation and welfare to military structure and strategy. Go beyond the traditional "kings and battles" history to gain a sense of what life was like for the people living in the democracy. The heart of Athenian democracy is the "demos", the body of citizens who participated in public assemblies, made speeches, and voted on matters of law. But because only citizens were allowed to vote, Professor Garland also explores Athens through the eyes of women, immigrants, and slaves who could not participate.
Ancient Mesopotamia: Life in the Cradle of Civilization [TTC Audio]
14 April 2018, 09:28
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 11 hrs 16 mins | 356.54MB
When we imagine what life might have been like thousands of years in the past, the images we often conjure are primitive ones: reed and mud huts or plain brick dwellings, cooking pits, villagers, and simple farms. That was indeed what life was like in the earliest settlements, but by 5,000 years ago, life in some places had become much more sophisticated than we might think. Impressive achievements - like stepped temples that towered like mountains, elaborate palaces (some with bathrooms and plumbing), and complex houses - were also a part of life for people who lived in cities that arose thousands of years ago, particularly in the fertile region that emerged along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
Welcome to Mesopotamia, the ancient name for the region that is now Iraq, a remarkably advanced civilization that flourished for two-thirds of the time that civilization has existed on Earth. Mesopotamians mastered irrigation agriculture; built the first complex urban societies; developed writing, literature, and law; and united vast regions through warfare and diplomacy. While civilizations like Greece and Rome have an unbroken tradition of written histories, the rich history of Mesopotamia has only been recently rediscovered, thanks to the decipherment of Mesopotamia's cuneiform writing less than 200 years ago. In this 24-lecture course taught by Professor Podany, you'll fill in the blanks of your historical understanding as you witness a whole new world opening before your eyes.
Riveting stories about kings and priestesses as well as ordinary people from all walks of life transport you back in time, giving you invaluable insights into the history of a landmark region that has long been known as the cradle of civilization.