November 21, 2009

Book TV visited with author and teacher Eva Brann at her home in Annapolis, Maryland, to talk about her life and work. Ms. Brann, who has been a tutor at St. John's College since 1957, discussed her interest in the classics and talked about some of the philosophers her students read.  (Original air date August 1, 2009)

April 03, 2009

The University of Chicago Chronicle announces that the late Leo Strauss, a political philosopher who is among the University’s most celebrated faculty members, will “teach again” when tapes and transcripts of his courses are digitized and collected on a Web site to be built by the newly founded Leo Strauss Center.

“The National Endowment for the Humanities is supporting the publishing project with a $350,000 grant over two years. In addition to the grant, the center is raising funds for the project, which is expected to cost $1.3 million.

This unpublished record refers in part to the audiotapes, transcripts and class notes of some 47 courses Strauss taught, most of them here at the University of Chicago,” said Stephen Gregory, Administrative Coordinator of the Leo Strauss Center, who will be managing the project.

“We consider these to be an extraordinary resource for the study of Strauss’ thought, and, more generally, of political philosophy and the intellectual history of the 20th century,” said Nathan Tarcov, Professor in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, who founded the Leo Strauss Center, the Web site of which will host the documents.

A demo of Strauss on Plato's Meno is available here.

January 09, 2009

Some enjoyably wry reflections on Robert M. Hutchins and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions by Ed Engberg, Sr. Fellow Emeritus of the Center. 
 The Center in Santa Barbara, assumed a mission that cannot be defined more concisely than the Advancement of Everything Good. At one time or another, depending upon its finances, the immediate audience, or the condition of the world and the night vapors troubling it, the Center proposed itself as an "early warning system" that will alert us to each rise in the tide of "critical issues," and the flotsam to be found thereon; and as the sole locus of thought generated independently of the pressure of this world; it is the protector and civilizer of great conversation....
...Hutchins struck [Lewis] Mumford as "tall, urbane, boyish looking: keen but supercilious , rational and outwardly reasonable, but shallow; an unawakened isolationist." "Aloof," the adjective often used by friendlier critics, fell short of capturing Hutchins look and bearing of pain, as if enduring some unheard noise, as if he were bearing his assigned mission nobly, but wished constantly that he might be released for less burdensome service.