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I listened to my first Teaching Company courses, now known as The Great Courses, over 20 years ago. A dear friend suggested that I listen to The Great Ideas of Philosophy by Prof. Daniel N. Robinson. It was magnificent, and I soon had finished ALL of Prof. Robinson’s courses: The Great Ideas of Psychology, Consciousness and Its Implications, Greek Legacy: Classical Origins of the Modern World, and American Ideals: Founding a “Republic of Virtues.” Every course was incredibly illuminating.
In college, I could count the number of Great professors on one hand: my Trig/Statistics/Calculus professor, an American History professor, and the great David Bell, an English professor. Daniel N. Robinson had all the qualities of a great teacher, primarily the ability to present a survey class, like The Great Ideas of Philosophy, which included the Western philosophers from the pre-Socratics into the 20th century, as if he were a full believer of the philosopher on whom he was lecturing.
I have since listened to (and occasionally viewed, but I much prefer listening while driving or walking) dozens more. Here is a list of some of the other professors I find to be great, “great” meaning I will listen to their courses again and again with unfailing pleasure.
I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. Book Review ‘The Eighth Arrow’, a brilliant mix of wit, Homer and Dante […]
Over the course of my life, there have been many books that have had an impact on my life, but I’d have to say that The Divine Comedy probably stands out among them, and of the three parts, each part called a Cantica, that comprises Dante’s epic, the middle part, Purgatorio, had a perception altering […]
In this week’s Podcast From Hell, Rob Long made the stunning admission that he never read the Italian side of his college Dante book – putting his Ivy bona fides in severe jeopardy. This admission came during an interview with Rod Dreher, author of How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem.
In this interview, Rod mentions how, during a dark period of his life, he was struck by the opening lines of the Inferno:
Midway upon the journey of our life