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How Luck Changes the Way We View the World  By  cover art

How Luck Changes the Way We View the World

By: Daniel Breyer, The Great Courses
Narrated by: Daniel Breyer
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Publisher's summary

“You've got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” Most of us are familiar with this famous line from the movie Dirty Harry. But perhaps the more important “one question” you should be asking yourself is: “What does lucky even mean?”

If you believe in luck — or if you absolutely do not believe in luck, join Associate Professor of Philosophy Daniel Breyer as he makes the case for the essential role that luck plays in our lives — and has played throughout human history. In this 10-part overview, he will give you a completely new appreciation for the surprising interplay between luck, responsibility, and free will.

Using the lens of real-life stories, as well as sharing a plethora of views on the subject from philosophers, writers, and leaders, Dr. Breyer demonstrates how luck affects our views of happiness, success, justice, and knowledge. Armed with the teachings of Aristotle, Richard Wiseman, Neil Levy, and others, Breyer presents the pros and cons of arguments that aim to show that luck undermines free will and renders moral responsibility impossible. You’ll consider fascinating cases of so-called moral luck that just might convince you to reconsider your most basic moral judgments. And you’ll even explore the science of luck (yes, there is such a thing), as well as epistemic luck — a kind of luck that threatens to undermine knowledge itself.

Perhaps most lucky of all, he’ll reveal practical tips for how to make your own luck, no matter what your fortunes bring.

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About the Creator and Performer

Daniel Breyer is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Illinois State University, where he also serves as the director of the Religious Studies program. Dr. Breyer received a BA in Classics from the University of Montana, an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, and a PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University.
At Illinois State University, Dr. Breyer has been awarded prestigious teaching awards, including the Outstanding University Teaching Award for pre-tenured faculty, the Kenneth A. and Mary Ann Shaw Teaching Fellowship, and the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding College Teaching Award for the Humanities. He regularly teaches popular courses on Greco-Roman, Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian philosophy as well as courses on topics like luck, evil, and blame. His articles have appeared in top journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, and Sophia.