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Max Osterhaus

Oakland, CA USA | Member Since 2013

  • 4 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 132 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert C. Solomon

    What is life? What is my place in it? What choices do these questions obligate me to make? More than a half-century after it burst upon the intellectual scene - with roots that extend to the mid-19th century - Existentialism's quest to answer these most fundamental questions of individual responsibility, morality, and personal freedom, life has continued to exert a profound attraction.

    Madeleine says: "Wonderful Survey of the Evolution of a Philosophy"
    "Loved it!"

    A nuanced and careful look at some pretty fiery characters. The professor has a nice cadence and clear speech (rare in philo profs!). I wanted more when he finished!!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Grant Hardy

    Western philosophy is a vast intellectual tradition, the product of thousands of years of revolutionary thought built up by a rich collection of brilliant minds. But to understand the Western intellectual tradition is to get only half the story. The Eastern intellectual tradition has made just as important a contribution-and is also the product of thousands of years of cumulative thought by a distinct group of brilliant thinkers. Their ideas demonstrate wholly different ways of approaching and solving the same fundamental issues that concerned the West's greatest thinkers, such as . the existence of God; . the meaning of life; and. the nature of truth and reality.This epic and comprehensive 36-lecture examination of the East's most influential philosophers and thinkers-from a much-honored teacher and scholar-offers a thought-provoking look at the surprising connections and differences between East and West. By introducing you to the people-including The Buddha, Ashoka, Prince Shotoku, Confucius, and Gandhi-responsible for molding Asian philosophy and for giving birth to a wide variety of spiritual and ideological systems, it will strengthen your knowledge of cultures that play increasingly important roles in our globalized 21st-century world.

    mc2 says: "Among the Best Great Courses = Don't Miss"
    "Fantastic, Comprehensive, Welcoming"

    Prof. Hardy has an excellent attitude and style. He is well versed and sees the big connections between these many schools and makes occasional reference to western thinkers and historical occurrences. I can think of no better way to get into eastern thought, especially Chinese (confucianism and daoism), Indian (Various forms of hinduism), and Buddhism (chinese, japanese, etc.).

    Take notes!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Will the Boat Sink the Water: The Life of China's Peasants

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    • Narrated By James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Chinese Economic miracle is happening despite, not because of, China's 900 million peasants. They are missing from the portraits of booming Shanghai, or Beijing. Many of China's underclass live under a feudalistic system unchanged since the 15th century. Wu Chuntao and Chen Guidi undertook a three-year survey of what had happened to the peasants in one of the poorest provinces, Anhui, asking the question: have the peasants been betrayed by the revolution undertaken in their name by Mao and his successors?

    Delano says: "Essential"
    "Painful life of Peasants"

    I was expecting a more broad-based look at rural peasant life in China (cultural practices, traditions, habits, etc.), so was a bit surprised by this very particular set of accounts of corruption and abuse and the stories that went along with that. As a bold account of those incidents, this book is incredible and I was shocked to hear how little has changed from the Maoist years of peasant abuse. The later chapters do a good job of describing a "split China" with rural and urban populations that follow very different rules, taxes, etc.

    I recommend this to anyone who wants a close look act some of the abuses at the ground level in rural China and an interesting description of how individuals tried to work through the bureaucracy with varied results.

    Note: it's very short and I got through it in about two days. Am eager to know more. Also, the reading out of URL addresses (even wikipedia articles) was a bit annoying...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Will Durant
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Durant lucidly describes the philosophical systems of such world-famous “monarchs of the mind” as Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Spinoza, Kant, Voltaire, and Nietzsche. Along with their ideas, he offers their flesh-and-blood biographies, placing their thoughts within their own time and place and elucidating their influence on our modern intellectual heritage. This book is packed with wisdom and wit.

    Jeff says: "AN ALL TIME FAVORITE"
    "Wonderful, no complaints!"
    What did you love best about The Story of Philosophy?

    What masterful writing and thinking. Durant is brilliant.

    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Such a great way to introduce and understand philosophical ideas and see how they arise.

    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He clearly understands what he is reading and helps with the clarity by emphasizing the right things. One of my favorite narrators.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not laughing or crying, but certainly a few Eureka moments!

    Any additional comments?

    For any student of philosophy at any level, this is golden.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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