How Should We Live? Answers from the Ancient World
The middle centuries of the first millennium BCE were a time of radical upheaval in civilizations across Eurasia. Philosophers and sages from Greece to China challenged traditional modes of thought and worked to imagine radically new ways that individuals and society might flourish. We, too, find ourselves in a time of upheaval—politically, environmentally, and with the shock of a global pandemic. In this course, we read some of those ancient texts with modern eyes and ask whether the answers those thinkers found might fruitfully apply to some of the questions we face today. Participants consider texts from ancient Greece, India, and China that ask probing questions about what it means to be human and how we can find peace and happiness in a turbulent world.