Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature (PHIL 181)
Professor Gendler begins with a discussion of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, who argued that once we recognize that some things are up to us and other things are not up to us, we can see that happiness requires detaching ourselves from our desires and focusing instead on our attitudes and interpretations. Three pieces of advice from Epictetus about how to cultivate such detachment are provided, along with contemporary examples. A similar theme from Boethius is discussed, followed by a practical example of the benefits of detachment from Admiral James Stockdale's experiences as a prisoner of war.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Epictetus: Overview and Main Themes
15:33 - Chapter 2. How to Detach from Things
31:34 - Chapter 3. Boethius and "The Consolation of Philosophy"
34:51 - Chapter 4. Stockdale and the Practical Significance of Detachment
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu
This course was recorded in Spring 2011.
Tagged under: Epictetus,Stoics,Stoicism,determinism,divine reason,virtue,logos,direction fit,Boethius,wheel fortune,prisoner war,James Stockdale
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