Philosophy for a Good Life
What does it mean to live a good life? In this course you will learn how the most influential Greek philosophers have approached this fundamental question—and how we can still learn from their ideas today.
We learn a lot at school, but we often don’t learn the things that really matter. In Ancient Greece, on the other hand, there were philosophical schools where people learned to live. In this course, you will learn about the most famous schools of this period: the Platonists, the Aristotelians, the Stoics, the Epicureans, and the Skeptics.
The Greek schools all emphasize a different aspect of ‘the good life.’ In Plato's Academy, the search for knowledge was given a central place. In the Lyceum, the school of Plato's best-known student Aristotle, you would have practiced becominga better person. In the Garden of Epicurus, you would have learned how to be happy. In the colonnade the Stoics would have offered you ways to remain calm in times of adversity and the skeptics would have taught you to be less troubled by your judgments. The cynics didn’t have a school as they would teach you the art of detachment.
Not only will you learn the basic ideas of the different schools during this course, but you will also be challenged to live as a student of one of the schools every week. You will be given thought exercises that the Greeks came up with to become calmer, happier or friendlier. At the end of this course you will have studied the good life from many sides, you will have become acquainted with the most influential ideas from Greek philosophy and, hopefully, you will have discovered which of the Greek philosophical schools will help you the most in your everyday life.
Philosopher Lammert Kamphuis is a core faculty member of The School of Life. He specializes in making complex philosophical theories easier to understand and apply in daily life. Lammert is able to pinpoint what really matters as speaker and moderator. In 2018 his book Filosofie voor een weergaloos leven was published and become a great succes.