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Philosophy as a Guide to Living  By  cover art

Philosophy as a Guide to Living

By: Stephen A. Erickson,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Stephen A. Erickson
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Publisher's summary

We've all asked ourselves whether there is any meaning in human life. But for philosophers, this is just the first question of many: Is such a question even answerable by philosophy? And if so, can the practice of philosophy itself pursue a positive answer? Can philosophy prove life has any meaning?

These 24 accessible lectures offer a thoughtful and stimulating discussion of how some of the greatest minds in the past three centuries have pondered why we are here and what journey we might be on. It's also a chance for you to take your own journey, as Professor Erickson guides you along the intellectual road traveled by a host of powerful thinkers.

You'll consider the post-Enlightenment ideas of Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and other European philosophers. Then you'll trace the line of thought through such intellectuals as Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, Foucault, and Habermas.

Most importantly, however, Professor Erickson has designed a course that requires no prior background in philosophy and avoids the often-intimidating language in which serious philosophy can be expressed. And he has done so without diminishing the extraordinary intellectual depth that each of the philosophers included here bring to the debate.

The avenues opened by these thinkers do not, of course, explain the meaning of life - or even if such a meaning exists. But they do take us further along a fascinating and worthwhile journey that will almost certainly never end.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2006 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2006 The Great Courses

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I couldn't even get through it.

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Stephen A. Erickson?

I love the Great Courses. This is only the second Professor I haven't been able to stomach. He obviously knows his material, but his delivery is so dry that I can't stay focused. I'm bummed I wasted a credit.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Another of the Great Courses, no doubt.

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5 people found this helpful

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A Nice breakdown

The professor her does a great job of breaking down some of the greatest complicated philosophical people from the west. Absolutely worth the listen.

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3 people found this helpful

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The Antidote to Excessive Analytics

Here is a surprise. A modern philosopher that has not forgotten the point of philosophy!

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2 people found this helpful

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Applied Philosophy

One of the best ways to get someone started on philosophy is to introduce topics relevant to one's life, as is done here. I particularly liked the groupings the professor used, which made it much easier to compare and differentiate different thinkers within the same broad school.

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1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

This is a fantastic summarization of the ideas of various philosophers. The professor is very well read and this course provides priceless knowledge. But the information doesn't exactly provide advice on how to live life per say as the title suggests.

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  • 02-08-24

Tedious and monotonous

Maybe this book could be on the reading list of someone wanting to write an actual book that deserves the book's title... but as it stands, it has little to offer in that sense. Like an intro to the history of philosophy, not a "guide". Instead of discussing ideas it was more like telling you of people who discussed ideas.

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Well presented. Professional works.

Got me to think. I am impressed with Stephens knowledge and groping of concepts I am looking forward to his future wok!





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A Wonderful Walk through the Woods

Stephen Erickson quotes Heidegger at the end of this program explaining that 'thinking and philosophy is like a walk in the woods' and I found that to be true. The journey that this book reflected was thoroughly enjoyable, incredibly insightful and ultimately very valuable; theoretically, philosophically and with practical application to life. I'm absolutely certain you'll enjoy it and can highly recommend it.

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Couldn’t finish it.

I listened to five lectures in this course, but I could not finish it. The material is too dry, and the exposition is too dull. I love philosophy and the Great Course, but this one was a disappointment.

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  • Overall
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Finding a Path of Thought

Erickson lays out, in clear language, practical approaches to mindfulness. This series of lectures serves as a great complimentary introduction to philosophy and will leave you, on a satisfying way, searching for more questions.

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