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The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World's Great Intellectual Traditions  By  cover art

The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World's Great Intellectual Traditions

By: Jay L. Garfield, The Great Courses
Narrated by: Jay L. Garfield
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Publisher's summary

What is the meaning of life?

It's a question every thoughtful person has pondered at one time or another. Indeed, it may be the biggest question of all - at once profound and universal, but also deeply personal.

We want to understand the world in which we live, but we also want to understand how to make our own lives as meaningful as possible; to know not only why we're living, but that we're doing it with intention, purpose, and ethical commitment. But how, exactly, do we find that meaning, and develop that commitment? How can we grasp why we are here? Or how we should proceed? And to whom, exactly, we should listen as we shape the path we will walk? This comprehensive 36-lecture series from a much-honored scholar is an invigorating way to begin or continue your pursuit of these questions, and it requires no previous background in philosophical or religious thought.

It offers a rigorous and wide-ranging exploration of what various spiritual, religious, and philosophical traditions from both the East and West have contributed to this profound line of questioning, sharing insights from sources that include ancient Indian texts, such as:

  • The Bhagavad-Gita
  • Foundational Chinese texts like the Daodejing and the Chuang Tzu
  • Classical Western texts, such as Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and Marcus Aurelius's Meditations
  • Modern philosophers and writers like David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Leo Tolstoy
  • The unique perspectives offered by Native Americans, in this case, the Lakota Sioux medicine man and writer, John Lame Deer
  • More recent and contemporary philosophers, such as Mohandas Gandhi and the Dalai Lama

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

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

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