Sunday, April 17, 2016

Grim, Patrick (2008): Questions of Value

What is it about?

The lecture series is about life's values (both in general and in one's life in particular) and ethics. However, the course is not a standard (academic) course on ethics and/or morality, but rather is a more multi-disciplinary and reflective treatment of various things that one should take into account in aspiring for 'a good life'.

Was it good?

This is indeed a good lecture series, and one which I tend to listen to every couple of years or so. I think that it is quite healthy, every once in a while, to take stock of one's life and a lecture series like this one is a very good catalyst for doing so. Moreover, the lecturer, professor Patrick Grim, is an excellent speaker - both in terms of oral and argumentative delivery and broad mastery of the subject matter - which makes following the lectures a very enjoyable experience.

The main take-away for me?

There probably is no single main take-away for me, though there are fascinating questions to consider throughout the lectures, such as whether immortality would actually be desirable, or is there any meaningful way to assign a monetary value for a life. Instead, it is the whole package that constitutes the take-away in this case - i.e. a certain way of looking at the world and one's (and others') life. In other words, the lecture series suggests a reflective mindset.

Who should read the book?

Again, I think that everyone could appreciate and would benefit from the lecture series - especially those who are not entirely satisfied with their lives presently, or who (otherwise) feel bombarded by life's mundane everyday tasks and needs. I can recommend the lecture series to anyone - at least anyone with a reflective-philosophical tendencies.

The course on the Teaching Company website: Questions of value

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