What can reason tell us about rights, freedom, responsibility, and the common good? What obstacles stand in the way of human beings developing clear thoughts about politics and its role within nature? How can attention to our experiences—for example, of freedom and rights—help us understand the nature of these political phenomena? In this Conversation, Claremont McKenna philosopher Mark Blitz presents his approach to the study of politics and human nature. Drawing on his new book, Reason and Politics: The Nature of Political Phenomena, Blitz argues that we should take our bearings in the study of political things not, in the first instance, through recourse to rigid rules or theories then imposed on the world, but through an open-minded encounter with political phenomena as they come to light through our own experience of them. Employing this approach, Blitz makes a series of stark and revealing comments about the nature of rights, liberty, equality, virtue, and human excellence. Finally, Blitz explains how his approach relates to thinkers including Plato and Martin Heidegger. This is a deep, challenging, and rewarding Conversation that has something important to say to anyone interested in liberal democracy, the American regime, and the nature of politics more generally.

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