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

Most Helpful

By Jonathon on 03-08-15

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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2 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Andreas on 01-06-15

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 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Allan on 09-14-15

A thought provoking listen

This is a well delivered lecture series which I would recommend to anyone interested in the questions of philosophy.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By PANAGIOTIS GALANIS on 12-04-17

One of the best on its subject.

One of the best on its subject, providing a concise, detailed review of existing matter.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Amazon Customer on 11-10-16

Great course

A bit slow in the beginning, but incredibly interesting and definitely worth listening to.

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