A Note From Fr. Schall:
To study political philosophy and through its lenses to look at all other things is an intellectual adventure. To do this well, it is important to have a guide. There are many different kinds of guides available. What we have here is unique. It is a careful reading of some ten or twelve books. Each book should be read in its entirety. This will take time. The student needs to have an act of faith that in reading these books, which I think are in themselves quite useful and interesting ones, he will begin to see not just political things but all things in a new light. Politics is part of reality. Reality must be seen in its whole before the good or bad of political things can be grasped.
The various comments in each of these lessons are made as prods or reflections on what the student has just read. I do not recommend listening to what I have said before one reads the given assigned text. One should read the assignment then listen to the comments. But if doing it another way is helpful, by all means use it.
As the student goes along, beginning with Aristotle, then Cicero, and on through the other books, he will find that each of these books is interesting in itself. But they are also designed to reinforce each other. The authors of the later books will have read the earlier books. In this fashion, each new author is a reminder of what went before. Some of these books are 'original' classics. The others, like Simon, Deane, Bloom, Schumacher, or my books, are designed to take us back to the texts and to explain, encourage, and to enlighten the student as he goes along.
The book entitled Another Sort of Learning is in a way a book designed to open the student's mind to many avenues of thought and reality, including the ones found in the books assigned. I suggest that this book be read regularly along with the other texts. It is a book about books and what to read.
What I have in mind in this course and with Another Sort of Learning is a way to see things and a suggestion of where to turn. Often students do not know what to read or where to find anything worth reading. For the most part, I have selected relatively short, concise books. It is with this idea in mind that this course is formulated.