002 – Western Civilization, the Dialectic, and our Syllabus



: [THIS EPISODE IS UNDERGOING REVISION AND WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON!] In episode 2 of “The Heritage Podcast,” we attempt to define the concept of Western Civilization in a world history context. Next we discuss the concept of the “dialectic” as a perennial conversation between thinkers in history. Finally, we review our syllabus and address concerns about bias and Euro-centrism.

Comments (5)

  1. Joel Mabry

    You mentioned that educators traditionally start with the Greeks– I would suggest another reason why that may be. The Greek language was the first one that was (relatively) easy to learn, both for moderns and ancients. Before Greek, the languages required inputs of vowels (e.g. Hebrew) or were purely pictographic (like heiroglyphics), and Greek was a real breakthrough. So it’s somewhat the first “modern” language from which we have epics, history, etc. That would make it an easy choice for beginning an education.

    1. heritagepodcast@gmail.com (Post author)

      Ahhh, very true! I’ll make a short addendum broadcast explaining this theory. Do you know of any accounts where historic educators explicitly mentioned this as a reason for starting with the Greeks? (I know that Koine Greek was the “scholarly language” well into the Latin-speaking Roman Empire, so a great deal of Classical scholarship would have been written in Greek, for both civilizations.) At some point I will probably do an episode on different writing systems and the origin of the Roman alphabet from Phoenician to Greek to Roman. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Linda

    Hey. I listened to the first podcast and really enjoyed it.

    I prefer to listen to them in the order you made them. Do you know when the 2nd podcast (which is under revision) will be available?

    Also, which podcast would you recommend listening to while I wait for the 2nd podcast to come online? I.e. which would be a good “stand alone” podcast where it would not matter if I already listened to the previous ones or not.

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Will Webb (Post author)

      Hi Linda! Thanks for listening to the show. I also appreciate your preference to work through things “in order!” Your message has motivated me to prioritize re-writing/re-recording Episode 2, but it could still be a couple of weeks. I am insanely swamped at work.
      I don’t think you’d miss TOO much if you skipped ahead to listen, as Episode 2 basically considers the concept of Western Civilization, why the show focuses on it, and how intellectual history has been divided up into different periods.
      If you’re looking for a good stand-alone episode or two, I would say that my Rome episodes make a decent stand-alone miniseries. The literature episodes (Job, Virgil) do, too! Unfortunately, the philosophy episodes all build on one another, and probably ought to be taken in order as they get kind of technical!
      Thanks again for writing in! – Will

  3. Rafael

    Hey Will! I just started listening to The Heritage too and I was wondering if you got any closer to finishing reviewing this episode! I look forward to it.


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