Sunday 1 November 2015

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT: Tools for Thinking About Life, Death & Everything Between

Image via Open Culture

"What is “Philosophy”? Yes, we know, the word comes from the Greek philosophia, which means “the love of wisdom.” This rote etymological definition does little, I think, to enhance our understanding of the subject, though it may describe the motivation of many a student. Like certain diseases, maybe philosophy is a spectrum, a collection of loosely related behaviors. Maybe a better question would be, “what are all the symptoms of this thing we call philosophy?” The medical metaphor is timely. We live in an age when the discipline of philosophy, like many of the humanities, gets treated like a pathology, in universities and in the wider culture. See, for example, popular articles on whether science has rendered philosophy (and religion) obsolete. There seems to be an underlying assumption in our society that philosophy is something to be eradicated, like smallpox."

Open Culture has compiled a list of 130 philosophy courses "from as much of the wide spectrum as we could, spanning such diverse ways of thinking as University of Chicago’s Leo Strauss on Aristotle’s Ethics and Plato’s Laws, to Columbia University Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman (Uma’s dad) on “The Central Philosophy of Tibet”. So, go ahead and have a listen, a download, a read, a revelation, an epiphany in Open Culture. E.T.P. Something between the whole winter or your whole life. One never knows.

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