We live in a world seemingly dedicated to questions of fact and finance. What should I invest in? What school district is the house in? But the fundamental questions of our lives are actually questions of value: What makes life worth living? Are there values that transcend cultural differences? Is all value subjective?
If you've ever felt the tug of such questions - or if you just want to fine-tune your ability to see how deeper questions of ethics and values apply to the choices that make up our lives - these 24 lectures bring to life the insights of thinkers and artists who have grappled with these questions for thousands of years.
Socrates said, "The examined life is not worth living." To examine these questions, Professor Grim casts a wide net, drawing from history, theoretical economics, game theory, theoretical biology, and sociobiology - with a few forays into physics, anthropology, and psychology.
But it isn't only scientists and historians who ask us to consider our values. Writers as varied as Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ursula Le Guin, Mark Twain, Anne Rice, and Jorge Luis Borges have also delved into the meaning of life and the values we live by.
In exploring the course's varied sources, Professor Grim takes great care to introduce each concept carefully so that each new concept builds on the last. His presentation - even of the most nuanced material - is consistently clear, even to those with no background in philosophy.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2005 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2005 The Great Courses
Excellent speaker, really interesting material. Addresses various means of attempting to determine what is right and good that have emerged throughout the centuries and their implications with regard to the pursuit of meaning, justice and happiness. Worth listening to more than once!
This is NOT an impartial analysis of moral philosophy. It is a presentation with an AGENDA: the teacher wants to convince the listeners that his opinion on questions of value is the right one. He seems almost anxious to convince his audience that he is correct - often reducing the credibility of his own arguments. He does not give fair coverage of his opponents. On most issues, he quickly summarizes the debate before spending most of his time presenting his beliefs. But we didn't sign up for 18 hours on the beliefs of a teacher many have never heard of. Listeners are searching for an honest coverage of various perspectives, leaving open the possibility that different arguments warrant respect and consideration rather than rapid dismissal.
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