How Should We Live? Answers from the Modern World


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We live in a world of abundant possibility. More than at any other time in history, people are free to choose how to live. But with this luxury of choice comes the burden of decision. How do I know if I’m living right? And how might I find meaning in my life at all? 

In the first half of this course, we confront the question of meaning head-on. We examine arguments that life is fundamentally absurd and consider proposals for how we might find meaning in the modern world. In the second half of the course, we look at thinkers who draw inspiration from ancient traditions and adapt them to the demands of the modern world.

This course is designed to be accessible to people with no prior training in philosophy. Some of the texts are difficult, and university-level English reading skills are an asset, but video lectures and reading guides are designed to make these texts accessible.


What is included in the course?

We will meet on ten consecutive weekdays (plus a first organizational meeting). There are three class meeting times:

  • Wednesdays: 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern/7pm UK & Ireland/8pm Europe
  • Wednesdays: 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern
  • Thursdays: 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern/7pm UK & Ireland/8pm Europe

Each class is 75 minutes long and will be supplemented by a 40–60 minute video lecture and short reading guide made available in advance.

See full course page for more information.