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Beginning in August of 1999, I gave a series of eight lectures on “The Pursuit of Happiness: Philosophies East and West,” dealing with different conceptions of the good life. The syllabus was:
- Harmony, Inner and Outer (Plato, Lao Tzu)
- Self-Actualization (Montaigne, Nietzsche)
- Detachment (Epictetus, the Buddha)
- Duty (Confucius, Kant, Montaigne)
- Pleasure (Callicles, Epicurus)
- The Conquest of Nature (Ayn Rand)
- The Spiritual Life (William James)
I have tapes of all eight lectures, and the sound quality so far seems pretty good. I will put them online in 16 parts. This installment, the last part of the first lecture, turned out to be rather brief. As usual, the students’ questions were often not caught by the microphone, so they were edited out. But my answers make clear what the questions were.