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Two Kinds of Political Reasoning (Video)

Two Kinds of Political Reasoning -- Alasdair MacIntyre

What type and style of reasoning is necessary if we are to achieve the common goods of political society?  With a view to answering this question, Alasdair MacIntyre identifies in this lecture two fundamentally different types of reasoning which can be identified in advanced societies: one which seeks the maximisation of individual preferences, and another which seeks the common good.

© London Metropolitan University (London, UK)

Disability and Social Justice (Audio)

Disability and Social Justice -- Prof. Christopher Tollefson

The speaker contends that 'the currency in society of the idea of a life not worth living . . . creates for the disabled a world in which their sense of worth and ability to flourish is jeopardised in ways beyond their control to rectify' yet, he suggests, that if we reject flawed concepts based on social contract theory and view the matter from a natural law perspectivem, it can be seen that the needs of disabled persons are 'while more extreme, fundamentally like the needs of every other person for whom the state exists . . . they are the needs of a human being'.

© Christopher Tollefson/Saint Anselm College/University of South Carolina

Does Money Buy Happiness? (Video)

Does Money Buy Happiness? -- Arthur C. Brooks

Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, delivers a lecture as part of the James Madison Programme on the various relationships between money and happiness and on why it both is, and isn’t a useful measure of success. After 00:43:30 this lecture is followed by questions.

© James Madison Program, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ.)

Christopher Dawson and the Crisis of Western Education (Audio)

Christopher Dawson and the Crisis of Western Education -- Bradley J. Birzer

The speaker argues that renewed attention to the work of Christopher Dawson, with his appreciation of the broad sweep of the great tradition of Western thought stretching back into the classical age, can help us today: 'If we are to challenge the ideologues of the world, if we are to challenge the bureaucrats in education and elsewhere, and if we are to have any degree of success, we must recognise a new "Republic of Letters", . . . that takes on the ideological hostility, and creates instead a wholeness and awareness of the complexity of man.'

© Intercollegiate Studies Institute (Wilmington, DE)

Is Natural Law Still Relevant? Notes on a Paradox (Audio/Video)

Is Natural Law Still Relevant? Notes on a Paradox -- Russell Hittinger

The speaker contends, against the view of certain theorists, that a proper account of the natural law does not depend on its being clearer, less disputable, and more publicly accessible than other systems of law.  Rather, its conclusions need to be drawn out by reasoning from complex conclusions known only to those who have received a suitable formation.  The current crisis concerns not the relevance of the natural law, but the relevance of positive human law, which 'finds itself increasingly unable to command our assent, generating a torrent of natural law discourse' which distorts philosophical speculation on the natural law by expecting it to replicate the dispute resolving function of positive law.  Yet, he warns, never has a culture been more dependent upon natural law discourse whilst simultaneously lacking the moral and intellectual resources to conduct such a discourse.

© Intercollegiate Studies Institute (Wilmington, DE)

It Takes a Family to Raise a Village: The Social Significance of the Family for the Free Society (Audio/Video)

It Takes a Family to Raise a Village: The Social Significance of the Family for the Free Society -- Jennifer Roback Morse

'The family is essential to the free society, and women are essential to the family. The last generation of Marxist-inspired ideas about women and family have made family life unecessarily difficult. It is time for a new approach. It is time to let the natural, organic family blossom.'

© Intercollegiate Studies Institute (Wilmington, DE)

A New Politics of the Common Good (Audio)

A New Politics of the Common Good -- Michael Sandel

While offering criticism of the belief in markets as the primary instruments for achieving the public good Professor Sandel puts forward the idea that we should think of ourselves as citizens and not simply consumers.

© British Broadcasting Corporation

Moral Argument in Politics (Audio)

Moral Argument in Politics -- Michael Sandel

‘[A]rguments about justice and rights are unavoidably arguments about the meaning of the goods at stake.’ So argues Prof. Sandel.

© British Broadcasting Corporation

Markets and Morals (Audio)

Markets and Morals -- Michael Sandel

Outlining the expansion of the use of market forces over the last thirty years to encompass areas of life such as healthcare, education, defence and criminal justice, Prof. Sandel describes the way in which such expansion of economic principles can change our perceptions of what is ethically acceptable.

© British Broadcasting Corporation

Edmund Burke on Natural Law and Rights Traditions (Audio/Video)

Edmund Burke on Natural Law and Rights Traditions -- Peter Stanlis

The speaker discusses the history of Natural Law and Natural Rights, as well as their differences as they relate to government, focusing on the work of Edmund Burke as opposed to Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Overall Stanlis asserts that ‘Natural Rights are not subject to any law except the will of those who assert the right to something’, and that, in pursuing Natural Rights as opposed to Natural Law, Natural Rights will ultimately destroy that which they are intended to preserve.

© Intercollegiate Studies Institute (Wilmington, DE)