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Tune in to a special conversation on the governance podcast between Professor Jeremy Jennings of King’s College London and Professor Quentin Skinner of Queen Mary University. Professor Skinner discusses the meaning of intellectual history, key insights about republicanism and political representation, and the perennial lessons we stand to learn from the humanities about our political present.

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The Guest

Professor Quentin Skinner is the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London. Previously the Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge, he is known as one of the founders of the Cambridge School of the history of political thought. His most recent book is From Humanism to Hobbes: Studies in Rhetoric and Politics.

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Skip Ahead

1:05: What do intellectual historians do, and what are the defining features of the Cambridge school?

6:34: Is there a reason intellectual historians are so drawn to the early modern period?

8:08: What is Hobbes’ legacy? Why is he important?

10:38: What was so original about the Hobbesian conception of the state?

16:00: Why did Britain fail to adopt the Hobbesian view of the state?

19:41: What is republicanism, and why is it important?

25:00: What does the Irish case teach us about republicanism?

28:00: Your new book is about teaching the humanities. Why is that so important?

33:10: What is the meaning of laughter?

37:15: What is Hobbes’ theory of political representation?

40:45: How do classical debates about representation bear upon the present?

43:50: How much can we learn from the past?

49:02: How do you see yourself entering public debate as a moralist?