Examined Life Series

Examined Life Series
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26 videos in this collection

What Is Philosophy?
What is Philosophy? combines two classic models -- Plato's Parable of the Cave and the character of Socrates -- with contemporary philosophers' commentary on the subject.
What Is Human Nature?
What is Human Nature? contrasts traditional Greek and Judeo-Christian views of human nature with post-Darwinian and existential views.
Is There An Enduring Self?
Is Mind Distinct From Body? examines how Descartes' dualistic view has been subject to waves of attacks from materialism, including present exponents of artificial intelligence and neuroscience. The program features…
Is Mind Distinct from Body?
Is There an Enduring Self? weaves the reflections of an expectant mother with inquiries from philosophers from Socrates to the present asking whether a person has an enduring self.
Are We Social Beings?
Are We Social Beings? looks at the relationship between personality and sociocultural context, and contrasts atomistic and situational views of the self, represented by Descartes and Hegel and using the…
What Is Real?
What is Real? explores the conflict between Thomas Hobbes' materialism and George Berkeley's idealism, and the 20th Century conflict between realists and antirealists. Philosophers include John Searle, Hilary Putnam, and…
How Do We Encounter The World?
How Do We Encounter the World? examines the views of Husserl, Heidegger, and others in which reality is a phenomenon of consciousness.
Do We Have Free Will?
Do We Have Free Will? asks if our lives are determined, or if we freely choose among alternatives. Ancient philosophers believed us to be free moral beings, but how do…
Is Time Real?
Is Time Real? questions whether time is something measured only by clocks and calendars or something that exists as an entity in its own right. The program explores theories of…
Does God Exist?
Does God Exist? delves into how philosophers have probed the universe for evidence of God's existence. How did the world begin? Is there a reason for its order and design?…
Can We Know God Through Experience?
Can We Know God Through Experience? considers whether certain mystical experiences are indications of the existence of a Divine Being. What kind of evidence is necessary for religious belief?
Is Reason The Source Of Knowledge?
Is Reason the Source of Knowledge? presents the rationalism of Descartes and Leibnitz, the roots of rationalism in Plato and geometry, and the continuing debate over whether the mind alone…
Does Knowledge Depend On Experience?
Does Knowledge Depend on Experience? focuses on the 17th and 18th Century empiricism of John Locke, George Berkeley and David Hume, and the 20th Century empiricism and naturalism of W.V.O.…
Does The Mind Shape The World?
Does the Mind Shape the World? examines Immanuel Kant's position that we interpret the world through a priori constructs of the mind, as well as later philosophers' views of how…
How Does Science Add To Knowledge?
How Does Science Add to Knowledge? highlights the classic, Baconian inductivist view that grew out of the Scientific Revolution and challenges to that view posed by Karl Popper and Thomas…
Does Science Give Us Truth?
Does Science Give Us Truth? looks at correspondence, coherence, and pragmatist theories of truth, and discusses how conflicts have carried over into realist vs. antirealist views of science, including the…
Are Interpretations True?
Are Interpretations True? asks how it is possible for us to interpret and understand each other. Is there a true or correct way of interpreting the meaning of what people…
Is Morality Relative?
Is Morality Relative? discusses whether all morality is culturally determined, or whether some moral values are valid for all cultures. Harman, Wong, and Rachels explore the claims of relativism. The…
Does The End Justify The Means?
Does the End Justify the Means? looks at utilitarianism against the backdrop of a construction project with environmental import and asks what is intrinsically valuable.
What Justifies The State?
What Justifies the State? asks whether the state is merely an artificial arrangement we construct to make life better, as social contact theorists claim, or whether it's a natural organism…
What Is Justice?
What is Justice? explores questions about distributive justice, both from a national and global perspective, and examines the views of Aristotle, Marx, Rawls and Nozick.
What Is Art?
What is Art? looks at several views on the nature of art, and asks how these have been affected by changes in artistic styles and techniques. Danto, Duchamp, Lyotard and…
What Is The Meaning Of Life?
What is the Meaning of Life? evaluates how the meaning and purpose of life have been viewed in light of religion, culture and history, as well as from an individual…
Is Ethics Based on Virtue?
Is Ethics Based on Virtue? explores Aristotle's and other ancient views of virtue and the good life, as well as contemporary virtue ethics with its focus on emotions, personal relationships,…
Can Rules Define Morality?
Can Rules Define Morality? addresses formalist theories of ethics, particularly that of Immanuel Kant, and explores the implications of his views in relation to ethical issues.
Moral Dilemmas…Can Ethics Help?
The parents and medical staff caring for a premature baby struggling for life are faced with the decision of whether or not to continue treatment. Philosopher Immanuel Kant, whose ideas…

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Examined Life - Influential Thinkers and The Spaces that Shape their Ideas
Filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas. Peter Singer's thoughts on the ethics of consumption are amplified against the backdrop of Fifth Avenue's posh boutiques. Slavoj Zizek questions…
Suicide Examined
In the last half-century, suicide rates have increased nearly 60% worldwide. This is your opportunity to investigate ways to think about this stigmatized subject. You'll examine what great philosophers and holy books say about suicide, and consider the numerous factors that sometimes compel people to take their own lives.
Esther, Daniel, and Life under Empire
[Esther, Daniel] Delightful and playful, the books of Esther and Daniel tell stories of life under the Babylonian, Median, Persian, and Greek empires. Here, you'll learn how these two important biblical heroes respectively illustrate the value of human initiative and the call for resistance against injustice and oppression.
The Life and Teachings of Jesus
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
In approaching the historical Jesus, consider why the New Testament Gospels are the only useful early sources on his life, and study the criteria used by scholars for evaluating the Gospels as history. Then investigate Jesus's apocalyptic worldview, which envisioned the imminent end of history and a coming kingdom of…
What Is the Meaning of Life?
Professor Johnson poses the last big question of the course: Can we answer the ultimate question? Draw on the many insights you've gained from these lectures, together with your experience thinking philosophically, to probe the meaning of life from several points of view.
Death’s Place in Our Lives
Start your exploration of this profound topic with a helpful overview of how we, as human beings, think about death. What place does it occupy in our lives? How have our attitudes about it changed over time? What symbols and euphemisms do we use to talk about it?
What Is The Meaning Of Life?
Part of the Series: Examined Life Series
What is the Meaning of Life? evaluates how the meaning and purpose of life have been viewed in light of religion, culture and history, as well as from an individual existential perspective. Program features the views of Hegel and Kirkegaard.
The Holy Land Revealed Series
With a rich history stretching back over 3,000 years, the Holy Land is sacred for three major faiths and the setting for defining events in religious history. Historians have shed intriguing new light on our understanding of this area--and its powerful role in religious history. Comb through these remains for…
The Life of the Essenes
In this final episode on the Qumran sect, investigate the ancient latrines and hygienic practices of the community. Your three sources for insights into this little-explored aspect of everyday life: passages from the Dead Sea Scrolls, observations by the historian Josephus, and remains unearthed from the archaeological site itself.
Galilee: Setting of Jesus's Life and Ministry
Tour the remains of Galilean towns and villages that date back to the time of Jesus, including Sepphoris (with its theater) and Capernaum (with its neighborhood of private houses). Then, conclude with a look at the recent discovery of a house at Nazareth that may shed light on Jesus's boyhood.
How Do We Find the Best Explanation?
Explore the power of abduction, a form of induction also known as inference to the best explanation, that is used not only by philosophers, but also by doctors to make medical diagnoses and scientists to construct theories. Even Sherlock Holmes--the master of deduction--really practiced abductive inference.
What Is Truth?
Now begin a section of the course devoted to the big question: What is knowledge? Start with the problem of defining truth. Investigate three philosophical theories that attempt to pin down this elusive concept: pragmatism, coherentism, and the correspondence theory.