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To the Best of Our Knowledge: The Examined Life | [Jim Fleming]

To the Best of Our Knowledge: The Examined Life

Nearly 2500 years ago, Socrates celebrated the pursuit of wisdom, and famously said "the unexamined life is not worth living." But does rigorous self-examination actually lead to a happy or fulfilled life? It didn't seem to work some of history's most famous philosophers, including Rousseau and Nietzsche. In this hour, we'll talk about t his idea of the examined life, and explore the new science of the self.
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Publisher's Summary

In this hour, nearly 25-hundred years ago, Socrates said "the unexamined life is not worth living." But was he right? We step back into the history of philosophy. James Miller has written a fascinating book called Examined Lives, a collection of short biographies of philosophers from Socrates to Nietzsche. Miller asked if their wisdom actually help the philosophers themselves? Steve Paulson sat down with Miller to find out what he learned.

Next, there was never any question about Micah Toub living an examined life. Both Toub's mother and father were Jungian therapists, and it shaped their style of parenting. Toub tells Jim Fleming about the unusual childhood he describes in his memoir Growing Up Jung.

Then, commentator Aubrey Ralph is bipolar, and says he has been living in a storm for most of his life. In this audio essay, he takes us down below the clouds, and into the darkness of his own mind.

After that, David Eagleman is a bestselling novelist as well as a rising star in the world of neuroscience. In his new book Incognito, he explores what he calls "the secret lives of the brain." He tells Anne Strainchamps that most of the real action in the brain is happening below the level of the conscious mind.

And finally, Sarah Bakewell is the author of How to Live - an unorthodox biography of the great French philosopher and essayist Montaigne. It's a series of chapters on different philosophical ideas....all told through episodes in the life of this one man. Steve Paulson wanted to know just how revolutionary a thinker Montaigne really was. [Broadcast Date: June 22, 2012]

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