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The Pursuit of Happiness 
Objectivity, Relativism, & Well-Being

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Beginning in August of 1999, I gave a series of eight lectures on “The Pursuit of Happiness: Philosophies East and West,” dealing with different conceptions of the good life. The syllabus was:

  1. Introduction
  2. Harmony, Inner and Outer (Plato, Lao Tzu)
  3. Self-Actualization (Montaigne, Nietzsche)
  4. Detachment (Epictetus, the Buddha)
  5. Duty (Schiller, Camus)
  6. Pleasure (Callicles, Epicurus)
  7. The Conquest of Nature (Ayn Rand)
  8. The Spiritual Life (William James)

I have tapes of all eight lectures, and the sound quality so far seems pretty good. I will put them online in 16 parts. In the first half of the first lecture, there was extensive discussion. As ususual, the students’ voices were often not caught by the microphone, so they were edited out. But my answers make clear what the questions were.

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Gyllentand
    Posted January 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I enjoy very much these lectures of yours. They function very good as an introduction to classical philosophy for someone like me who haven’t studied it. Thank you for making them available.

  2. Fisherman
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Greg, did you give these lectures in a university setting?!? Lucky students to have a professor who cared about helping them find meaning and happiness in life.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      I gave them to private adult education classes.

      • Fisherman
        Posted January 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        That was very good Greg. If you have more of these please do post them.

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