"Philosophy is an inspiring discipline as well as an everyday practice that can transform societies. By enabling to discover the diversity of the intellectual currents in the world, philosophy stimulates intercultural dialogue. By awakening minds to the exercise of thinking and the reasoned confrontation of opinions, philosophy helps to build a more tolerant, more respectful society. It thus helps to understand and respond to major contemporary challenges by creating the intellectual conditions for change." - UNESCO
Whether you've had much exposure to philosophy or not, these Great Courses can help you better understand how philosophy has shaped our world and how it can be applied in a wide range of disciplines.
Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World's Great Intellectual Traditions
Jay L. Garfield
What is the meaning of life? It's a question every thoughtful person has pondered at one time or another. Indeed, it may be the biggest question of all. Most of us have asked ourselves this question at some time, or posed it to somebody we respect. It is at once a profound and abstract question, and a deeply personal one. We want to understand the world in which we live, but we also want to understand how to make our own lives as meaningful as possible; to know not only why we're living, but that we're doing it with intention, purpose, and ethical commitment.
But how, exactly, do we find that meaning, and develop that commitment? How can we grasp why we are here? Or how we should proceed? And to whom, exactly, are we supposed to listen as we shape the path we will walk?
The ability to ponder your own relationship with the universe and with others is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of being human. Even if you do not find a final answer to the question this course poses, each answer you consider cannot help but add depth and nuance to your own contemplation of how to live. (Course descriptions are from the publisher)
David Kyle Johnson
What comes to mind when you hear the word “metaphysics”? Forget the ancient philosophers and ivory tower professors pontificating on irrelevant abstractions. The truth is, while metaphysics is among the oldest strands of philosophical thought—an inquiry into the very nature of reality—metaphysics is also on the cutting edge of today’s scientific discoveries.
The first half of this course centers on human beings, examining the nature of the human mind and exploring the essence of people. The second half of the course explores the nature of the universe and what may be beyond it, addressing the existence of God, the nature of the universe, and the discoveries of quantum mechanics to explore the nature of physical matter itself.Check Availability
Philosophy, religion, and the meaning of life
Francis J. Ambrosio
Philosophy, Religion, and the Meaning of Life charts how the question of life's meaning has been pursued through the ages, highlighting the Western philosophical and religious paths in the human search for meaningful living.
Embracing a wide range of perspectives, Professor Ambrosio demonstrates that whether we are philosophically inclined or not, religious or atheistic, cynic or optimist, the question of life's meaning is shared universally by human beings, as an essential dynamic of human existence itself.Check Availability
About the Author
Katherine is the Social Media Coordinator and has been working at EPL since 2008. She loves books, especially ones with unique plots and those written so well that she can't put them down.