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This lecture series discusses The Bhagavad Gita, Aristotle, The Book of Job, Stoicism (including Epictetus, Seneca, Lucretius, and Marcus Aurelius), Confucius, The Dao De Jing (including Zhuangzi), Buddhist teachings (including Santideva and Zen), Hume, Kant, Mill, Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Gandhi, Lame Deer, and the Dalai Lama. He concentrates on bringing out what each subject has to say particularly on the meaning of life, and he always reminds the listener of themes that we have heard in previous lectures and how they compare to the current lecture. He took every perspective seriously, and during each lecture I felt he was making a great case for each viewpoint. He respects Nietzsche and Gandhi equally. He is calm yet engaging speaker. One revelation I had was the difference in how the ancient world generally understands the meaning of life as opposed to the modern world. I got a lot out of listening, and may listen again after a few months. If I were to guess, I would guess he gives slightly more time to compassion/nature of self, but he gives almost equal time to other topics such as the aesthetic/creative and knowledge/progress ideas of the good life.
35 of 36 people found this review helpful
Jay L. Garfield is a wise and thoughtful guide to the philosophical exploration of the greatest question in life. Just what is the meaning of life?
He discusses the meaning of the question in the first place and then goes on to discuss a broad range of philosophers and traditions as he helps us understand the different approaches. I was impressed with the course right from the beginning and that positive impression only grew as I listened to the entire course.
Jay Garfield is passionate, humble, and respectful in his teaching. He covers a broad range of thinkers and links them nicely. He paints a broad landscape of the majesty of philosophy when it helps us explore the meaning of our individual and social human experience.
The course was not short and it covered a lot of material, but the pace was excellent. I learned a great deal, but would be happy to hear a lot more of Jay Garfield. A great Audible program for anyone interested in the big picture of human life - highly recommended. Jay Garfield is a brilliant teacher who shares his passion as much as his knowledge.
This would be a great course for anyone wanting to dip their toe into philosophy. I expect that it would encourage many to plunge in after that first dip.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
What about Professor Jay L. Garfield’s performance did you like?
His very clear passion and love of the subject
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The second climax of the bhavadgita, the description of daoism, and understanding the zen notion of impermanence
Any additional comments?
Thoroughly recommended. Probably my favorite great courses series so far (out of about 10)
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
really liked it. story is fasinating,narrator is supurb. it is my first review of any audiobook,so its says it all.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Prof Garfield is an excellent lecturer, passionate about his subject, and inspiring, bringing philosophies of different ancient cultures to life, and showig the relevance of those teachings to our present time. His brilliant interpretations of those teachings gave me a wider perspective on life, a highly recommended listen!