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Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy? Picture a world where human relationships are challenging, narcissism and self-centeredness are on the rise, and there is disagreement on the best way for people to live harmoniously together.

Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy?

It sounds like 21st-century America. But the society that Michael Puett, a tall, 48-year-old bespectacled professor of Chinese history at Harvard University, is describing to more than 700 rapt undergraduates is China, 2,500 years ago. Puett's course Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory has become the third most popular course at the university. The only classes with higher enrollment are Intro to Economics and Intro to Computer Science. The second time Puett offered it, in 2007, so many students crowded into the assigned room that they were sitting on the stairs and stage and spilling out into the hallway.

Why are so many undergraduates spending a semester poring over abstruse Chinese philosophy by scholars who lived thousands of years ago? Decisions are made from the heart. The Great Philosophers 8: Theodor Adorno. Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was born in Frankfurt in 1903 into a wealthy and cultured family.

The Great Philosophers 8: Theodor Adorno

His father, a wine merchant, was of Jewish origin but had converted to Protestantism at university. Teddy (as his closest friends called him) was an extremely fine pianist from a young age. Until his twenties, he planned for a career as a composer, but eventually focused on philosophy. In 1934, he was barred, on racial grounds, from teaching in Germany. So he moved to Oxford and later to New York and then Los Angeles.

Adorno believed that intellectuals should band together to change society, and he was closely connected with the pioneering Institute of Social Research, which had been founded and funded by his friend Felix Weil (whose father was a hugely successful commodities trader). Adorno drew attention to three significant ways in which capitalism corrupts and degrades us: How to Find Your Life Purpose? Escape Your Bubble. WiseGEEK clear answers for common questions.url. Quote by Socrates: “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manner...” The Great Philosophers 3: Epicurus.

The Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus was born in 341 BC, on the island of Samos, a few miles off the coast of modern Turkey.

The Great Philosophers 3: Epicurus

He had an unusually long beard, wrote over three hundred books and was one of the most famous philosophers of his age. What made him famous was his skilful and relentless focus on one particular subject: happiness. Previously, philosophers had wanted to know how to be good; Epicurus insisted he wanted to focus on how to be happy. Few philosophers had ever made such a frank, down-to-earth admission of their interests before. It shocked many, especially when they heard that Epicurus had started a School for Happiness. But such associations are unfounded. Epicurus proposed that we typically make three mistakes when thinking about happiness. 1.

Melissa Lane on Plato. Plato’s Statesman, this is a book I know very little about.

Melissa Lane on Plato

Why did you choose it? This was the subject of my PhD thesis and my first book. It’s a very neglected dialogue of Plato’s, and wrongly so, I think. Often people say Plato has three great political dialogues, the Republic, the Statesman and the Laws. One problem with saying that is that you might say all his dialogues have a political dimension.

If somebody were to approach this for the first time, should they read it from cover to cover, or are there key passages that you should focus in on? How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love. “Find something more important than you are,” philosopher Dan Dennett once said in discussing the secret of happiness, “and dedicate your life to it.”

How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love

But how, exactly, do we find that? Surely, it isn’t by luck. I myself am a firm believer in the power of curiosity and choice as the engine of fulfillment, but precisely how you arrive at your true calling is an intricate and highly individual dance of discovery. Still, there are certain factors — certain choices — that make it easier. Marxism.

Marxism is a worldview and a method of societal analysis that focuses on class relations and societal conflict, that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, and a dialectical view of social transformation.


Marxist methodology uses economic and sociopolitical inquiry and applies that to the critique and analysis of the development of capitalism and the role of class struggle in systemic economic change. In the mid-to-late 19th century, the intellectual tenets of Marxism were inspired by two German philosophers: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxist analyses and methodologies have influenced multiple political ideologies and social movements. Marxism encompasses an economic theory, a sociological theory, a philosophical method, and a revolutionary view of social change.[1] Marxism builds on a materialist understanding of societal development, taking as its starting point the necessary economic activities required to satisfy the material needs of human society.