Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness
six part series on philosophy is presented by popular British
philosopher Alain de Botton, featuring six thinkers who have influenced
history, and their ideas about the pursuit of the happy life.
Episode 1: Socrates on Self-Confidence Part one features Socrates on
self-confidence. Why do so many people go along with the crowd and fail
to stand up for what they truly believe? Partly because they are too
easily swayed by other people's opinions and partly because they don't
know when to have confidence in their own.
Episode 2: Epicurus on Happiness In the second of this six part series,
British philosopher Alain De Botton discusses the personal implications
of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270BCE) who was no
epicurean glutton or wanton consumerist, but an advocate of "friends,
freedom and thought" as the path to happiness.
Episode 3: Seneca on Anger Roman philosopher Lucious Annaeus Seneca
(4BCE-65CE), the most famous and popular philosopher of his day, took
the subject of anger seriously enough to dedicate a whole book to the
subject. Seneca refused to see anger as an irrational outburst over
which we have no control. Instead he saw it as a philosophical problem
and amenable to treatment by philosophical argument. He thought anger
arose from certain rationally held ideas about the world, and the
problem with these ideas is that they are far too optimistic. Certain
things are a predictable feature of life, and to get angry about them is
to have unrealistic expectations.
Episode 4: Montaigne on Self-Esteem This episode looks at the problem of
self-esteem from the perspective of Michel de Montaigne (16th Century),
the French philosopher who singled out three main reasons for feeling
bad about oneself - sexual inadequacy, failure to live up to social
norms, and intellectual inferiority - and then offered practical
solutions for overcoming them.
Episode 5: Schopenhauer on Love Alain De Botton surveys the 19th Century
German thinker Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) who believed that love
was the most important thing in life because of its powerful impulse
towards 'the will-to-life'.
Episode 6: Nietzsche on Hardship British philosopher Alain De Botton
explores Friedrich Nietzsche's (1844-1900) dictum that any worthwhile
achievements in life come from the experience of overcoming hardship.
For him, any existence that is too comfortable is worthless, as are the
twin refugees of drink or religion.
DVD series is truly a masterpiece of philosophy that links a variety of
eras in order to help us understand and ensure happiness in our lives.
Once again Alain De Botton takes us on a journey of the different
thoughts on happiness from around the world that actually helps us
understand our own views. Highly compelling!
video is presented in 16:9 widescreen with Dolby Digital 2.0 and is
extraordinary clear and sharp. Unfortunately no extras are contained on
this disc. Recommended to the philosophers in all of us!