“What is courage?” with Ryan Balot

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Episode 85:

Originally broadcast: November 8, 2015


We describe people as brave all the time, but what do we really mean? Does the bravery of a firefighter have anything in common with the courage of reading books that challenge our deepest beliefs? Is there a specific kind of courage that comes from living in a democracy? What do we learn from looking at the Greek roots of the word and how is their experience relevant to ours? On this episode of Why? we’re going to look at the classical roots of courage and examine its meaning in modern democracies.

Ryan Balot Ryan Balot is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is the author of many books and articles, including Courage in the Democratic Polis: Ideology and Critique in Classical Athens and A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought.

The text of this episode’s monologue can be found here at our blog, PQED.

The episode is dedicated to the memory of James Nickson: Institute for Philosophy of Life board member, dedicated Why? Radio fan and donor, lover of learning, brilliant iconoclast, and dear friend. Jay, you will be missed.

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