The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World's Great Intellectual Traditions : The Great Courses: Intellectual History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Jay L. Garfield
  • Series: The Great Courses: Intellectual History
  • 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

What is the meaning of life?
It's a question every thoughtful person has pondered at one time or another. Indeed, it may be the biggest question of all - at once profound and universal, but also deeply personal.
We want to understand the world in which we live, but we also want to understand how to make our own lives as meaningful as possible; to know not only why we're living, but that we're doing it with intention, purpose, and ethical commitment. But how, exactly, do we find that meaning, and develop that commitment? How can we grasp why we are here? Or how we should proceed? And to whom, exactly, we should listen as we shape the path we will walk? This comprehensive 36-lecture series from a much-honored scholar is an invigorating way to begin or continue your pursuit of these questions, and it requires no previous background in philosophical or religious thought.
It offers a rigorous and wide-ranging exploration of what various spiritual, religious, and philosophical traditions from both the East and West have contributed to this profound line of questioning, sharing insights from sources that include ancient Indian texts, such as:


The Bhagavad-Gita
Foundational Chinese texts like the Daodejing and the Chuang Tzu
Classical Western texts, such as Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and Marcus Aurelius's Meditations
Modern philosophers and writers like David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Leo Tolstoy
The unique perspectives offered by Native Americans, in this case, the Lakota Sioux medicine man and writer, John Lame Deer
Plus more recent and contemporary philosophers, such as Mohandas Gandhi and the Dalai Lama.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Life-changingly fantastic

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)

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- David

great stuff

really liked it. story is fasinating,narrator is supurb. it is my first review of any audiobook,so its says it all.
Read full review

- mr.andrius

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses