Great Courses from the Great Courses® | The Big Questions of Philosophy

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This course of 36 lectures is taught by Professor David Kyle Johnson of King’s College. It deals with the most perplexing ideas in philosophy, those which have yet to yield any definitive answers to our species’ inquiry.

From the start on how we do philosophy and what it is, leading up to the biggest question of all on the meaning of life, this course is bound to at some point touch on matters many will find unsettling.

This includes matters of the existence of the soul, of the existence of minds, and even the existence of persons as real, discrete things existing ‘out there’ in the world.

The matters of free will, of justice, of what makes our actions moral and defines the Good, are all discussed in as much detail as allowable for the roughly 30 minute lectures.

These lectures offer, at best, tentative answers and remaining problems to keep you thinking about the best arguments offered for them to date.

A warning: If you are frightened by the prospect of having your beliefs on these questions called into at least some doubt, then avoid this course.

I personally found the lessons on morality, personal identity and the nature of government unsettling in parts, but in a good way, and have since revised my prior social and political views in light of the questions raised. This is as it should be.

In my view, dogmatic adherence to any ideology or a fixed set of conclusions is reactionary and dangerous, and this course is a terrific way to overcome that.

I found this course enjoyable and enlightening, and if you are into asking questions without cheap, easy, and simplistic answers, then this course is for you.

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