The Art of Living is a forthcoming series of discussions to explore the questions: Who shall I be? How do I become? What highest value(s) ought I aspire toward? What is the end and aim of life? The Art of Living refers to the project and the problem of our lives as characterized by these fundamental questions.

This series is inspired by an accessible, exquisite, free on-line course The Art of Living ( where three Stanford professors discuss five great works to show how philosophy and literature can help us practice the art of living. The three lecturers are Kenneth Taylor, Joshua Landy, and R. Lanier Anderson and the five works are Plato’s Symposium, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, Nietzsche’s The Gay Science, and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. The video lectures from the course will guide our exploration of “The Art of Living”. For an overview of the series, please watch the 50 minute video Introduction to The Art of Living:

To enhance your experience, we recommend watching the three videos from the Stanford course associated with each text before the discussion. Please check the event site for links or RSVP early and watch for my comments with links to the videos. Ambitious people are advised to read the texts as well. The first text in the series can be read freely on-line as a Gutenberg eText for Plato’s Symposium or as a Librivox audiobook of Plato’s Symposium. Reading the texts and watching the videos is optional, but highly recommended.