Allan Bloom–The Closing of The American Mind–Videos

Posted on September 24, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, College, Communications, Culture, Demographics, Economics, Education, government, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Religion, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

Higher Education Has Failed Democracy: Allan Bloom

Bloom interviewed 1 – “I am not a snob” [1987]

Bloom interviewed 2 – “I said economic OR political!” [1987]

Bloom interviewed 3 – “I am speaking on behalf of a disadvantaged group…”[1987]

Conference on the 25th Anniversary of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, On Students

The state of the American mind: Anti-intellectualism in America more than 25 years after Allan Bloom

Background Articles and Videos

Allan Bloom on Plato’s Apology of Socrates 1

Allan Bloom on Plato’s Apology of Socrates 2

Allan Bloom on Plato’s Apology of Socrates 3

Allan Bloom on Plato’s Apology of Socrates 4

Allan Bloom on Plato’s Apology of Socrates 5


Allan Bloom discourses on Aristotle’s Ethics 1

Allan Bloom discourses on Aristotle’s Ethics 2

Allan Bloom discourses on Aristotle’s Ethics 3

Allan Bloom discourses on Aristotle’s Ethics 4

Allan Bloom discourses on Aristotle’s Ethics 5

Allan Bloom gives his ”Thoughts on Machiavelli” 1

Allan Bloom gives his ”Thoughts on Machiavelli” 2

Allan Bloom: The Full Machiavelli Lecture

00:00 – Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau and Modern Natural Right. Political Philosophy is Ancient (Aristotle), Modern Natural Right (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau), and Historicism (Heidegger). Machiavelli is the fundamental shifting point between ancient and modern political philosophy. Bloom does not consider the religious influence of Islam and Christianity, as he see’s them as politically essentially having absorbed Aristotle’s teaching concerning republics.

08:44 – Bloom puts his theory in a simple formulation, that the shift with Machiavelli can be summed up as: “All power is derived from the consent of the governed”

8:50 – Bloom recommends teaching Machiavelli as an introduction to engage students attention.

10:50 – What seems like common sense in modern political philosophy – i.e. ethics is sustained by fear of violent death (the genealogy of morals) – is just a different “interpretation…for which there are alternatives.” And in this context, it is easier to see that what is common in modern political philosophy – a sort of presummed “hard realism” – is actually more “idealistic” than Plato.

14:38 – Bloom introduces “The Prince.”

The Prince does not make the distinction between princes and tyrants, in an ethical sense.

Machiavelli was purposefully shocking, however, when his ideas become common in politics, The Prince looses this trait.

20:10 – Three general incorrect opinions about Machiavelli. First: Machiavelli was evil, and was an assistant to tyrants. Second: He was the founder of nationalism (Consider Mazzini) Third: He was the founder of social sciences.

22:15 – Bloom go’s over the context of the book. The book is a gift to a prince.

Playing on Plato’s idea of the philosophy king, Machiavelli makes a symbolic statement about the relationship between knowledge and power. Machiavelli must come across to the prince as not trying to gain control over the prince.

28:45 – Machiavelli expresses the difference between the “experience of modern things versus the reading of ancient things.” Bloom asks the question: why would you have to read ancient things? By doing this, Machiavelli points to the necessity of having a seperate context from ones own culture to make ethical, or tactical judgements. The problem with the modern experience is that it is too “narrow.” And the problem with the ancients is relying on reading books. Bloom says this is a major theme of the entire book.

36:10 – “Fortuna” or “Fortune,” and “Virtue” are the two most important words in the book.

PART 4 Chapter One
38:10 – Bloom explains the general character of the Prince. The Prince is both very “scholastic” and writing style for “popular appeal.”

42:15 – The fundamental difference between Aristotle and Machiavelli is that Machiavelli focuses on acquisition. Aristotle is understood to be a dreamer simply because his political philosophy focuses on inherited wealth, and how to be virtuous to maintain a regime, but not create a revolution. Machiavelli accepts that princes are concerned with acquisition, and not ethics.

Interlude information.

51:40 – Bloom outlines the chapters and urges to pay attention to diversions

Chapter 2 – Old Principalities
Chapter 3 – Partially new Principalities
Chapter 6 is all new with virtue
Chapter 7 is with fortune

52:16 – PART 5 Chapter Two.

56:09 – PART 6 Chapter Three, the story of Louis the 12th

1:04:00 – Machiavelli illustrates the Romans – based on text – as always being correct and King Louis as always being wrong – based on experience.

1:05:05 – Romans were successful because they assisted smaller countries and then in-turn absorbed those countries by a “forced gratitude.” (U.S. foriegn policy.)

The Romans were always ready to make war.

1:15:25 – The real difference is that the moderns are Christian, and the Romans were pagan. The real problem for Machiavelli, is with the church.

Noam Chomsky – The Political system in the USA

Allan Bloom on Nietzsche 1983 (1 of 5)

Allan Bloom on Nietzsche 1983 (2 of 5)

Allan Bloom on Nietzsche 1983 (3 of 5)

Allan Bloom on Nietzsche 1983 (4 of 5)

Allan Bloom on Nietzsche 1983 (5 of 5)

Terrifying the population

Great Teachers: James Ceaser on Harvey Mansfield, James Q. Wilson, Walter Berns, and Allan Bloom

Friendship: Allan Bloom and Harvey Mansfield

Harvey Mansfield — The Left on Campus

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