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Ancient Wisdom for the Modern World

Synopsis: In this short introductory course, we examine five of the greatest ancient thinkers, from three of the greatest ancient civilisations. In the first topic we journey back to ancient Greece and examine the relation between knowledge and the good life, via two of the most influential thinkers in human history, Socrates and Aristotle. We then turn to ancient India and investigate the Dharma of Gautama Buddha, paying particular heed to the Buddhist notion of gaining freedom from suffering. Finally we turn to ancient China and examine the notion of virtue in Confucian thought and the idea of harmony in the Taoism of Lao Tzu.

Our task is not so much to gain scholarly knowledge of these philosophies, but rather to draw out what may be timeless and true enough to apply to our own lives in the 21st century. No prior knowledge of philosophy or any ancient traditions is assumed.


Tues April 25th 7.00-8.30pm, Topic One – Socrates and Aristotle, knowledge and the good life

Tues May 1st 7.00-8.30pm, Topic Two – The Buddha, Freedom from suffering

Tues May 8th 7.00-8.30pm, Topic Three – Confucius and Lao Tzu, virtue and harmony