Why are you alive? - Key Existential ideas

Use key concepts and practices from Existential Philosophy to turn your life into a work of art
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  • Lectures 37
  • Contents Video: 1.5 hours
    Other: 34 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 11/2014 English

Course Description

Why are you alive? How should you live? How can you turn your life into a work of art? How can you live an authentic life - that is, live the life that you were meant to live?

If you have ever posed yourself these kinds of questions, you're in good company. Philosophers known as "Existentialists" have posed these questions about our own lives and developed some very useful theories and practices around them.

In this course you will learn to examine your life and the choices you make from the standpoint of freedom, meaning, and community. You will learn what kind of projects give meaning to your life.

The course consists of:

  • 11 thematic videos on giving shape to your life (2-5 minutes),
  • 7 narrated powerpoint videos on the life and work of existentialist philosophers (3-10 mins)
  • a series of exercises for you to try out in your daily life
  • some short original texts from my forthcoming book

What are the requirements?

  • Just bring your curiosity

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Start turning your life into a work of art
  • Learn and practice key ideas from Existential philosophy

What is the target audience?

  • If you have asked yourself what the meaning of life is, and what your own life is for, then this course is for you. If you are allergic to philosophical ideas, you might like to skip it.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: How to live
02:39
Why are you alive? Find out about the two key questions in your life: How to make a living and How to live.
How to live - text
Preview
Article
Section 2: Fear and Laziness
04:20
Fear and laziness are two things which keep us from living the life that we want to live, according to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Find out how to choose your own path to live an "authentic" life. The exercise asks you to examine the role of fear and laziness in your own decisions.
06:09

In this narrated slideshow, you will learn about Friedrich Nietzsche's life, his main books and his core ideas such as the Death of God, Good and Evil, the Over-man, and Amor fati. After watching, you should have an understanding of who he was, what he thought, and how he inspired the Existentialists.

Fear and laziness - exercise
Preview
Article
Section 3: The eternal return
04:54
The eternal return is a key idea of Nietzsche. He believes we can use it as a criterion to make choices in our lives. Find out what it is, and whether you can use it in daily life to live the life you truly want to live.
The eternal return - Nietzsche's text
Article
The eternal return - exercise
Article
Section 4: Abundance
05:01
Living from a position of abundance is very different than living from a position of scarcity, Abundance is one of the reasons that we have to give shape to our lives. Can you make the shift from what you take to what you give? How could that affect the way you live?
05:23

In this narrated slideshow, you will learn about Georges Bataille's life, his main books, his core ideas of surplus expenditure and the "Accursed share". After watching, you should have an understanding of who he was, what he thought, and why it matters to us for our understanding of abundance and the surplus of energy we have at our disposal in our lives.

Abundance - text
Article
Abundance - exercise
Article
Section 5: Meaning and the Absurd
06:53
What if there is no deeper meaning to our existence? The philosopher Albert Camus thought that this was the case, and he called our desire for meaning absurd.Find out how you can use the absurd to live a life of passion and to be proud of being human.
10:34

In this narrated slideshow, you will learn about Albert Camus' life, his main books, and two of his core ideas: the absurd hero and rebellion. After watching, you should have an understanding of who he was, what he thought, and why it matters to us as we try to give shape to our own lives.

Meaning and the Absurd - text
Preview
Article
Meaning and the Absurd - exercise
Preview
Article
Section 6: Radical freedom
06:19
We are radically free, and radically responsible, according to philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Find out how you can live a life without excuses.
07:06

In this narrated slideshow, you will learn about Jean-Paul Sartre's life, his main books, and two of his core ideas: existentialism and "bad faith". After watching, you should have an understanding of who he was, what he thought, and why it matters to us as we shape our lives through our actions.

Radical freedom - text
Article
Radical freedom - exercise
Article
Section 7: Freedom as practice
04:53
Our freedom is limited by institutions and language, according to the philosopher Michel Foucault. Find out how you can question structures of domination and engage in freedom as practice.
Freedom as practice - text
Article
Freedom as practice - exercise
Article
Section 8: Community
04:15
We are born and live amidst others, but our consciousness is radically individual. We live in implicit and in chose communities. Find out how our choice of community helps to determine our identity and gives shape to our lives.
Community - text
Article
Community - exercise
Article
Section 9: Projects
06:25
The key to giving meaning to your life is to engage in projects. Find out what characteristics these projects should have, and what they do not need to be. What projects will you engage in?
Projects - text
Preview
Article
Projects - exercise
Preview
Article
Section 10: Life as a work of art
05:22
According to Foucault, we should be able to turn our lives into a work of art. Find out why this matters and how to go about doing it.
03:03

In this narrated slideshow, you will learn about Michel Foucault's life and his main books. After watching, you should have an understanding of who he was and what he thought.

03:48

In this narrated slideshow, you will learn about Michel Foucault's core idea of Power/Knowledge. After watching, you should have an understanding of why this matters to us to question forms of dominance as we engage in freedom as practice.

06:42

In this narrated slideshow, you will learn about Michel Foucault's core idea about the care of the Self. After watching, you should have an understanding of why this matters to us when we engage in freedom as practice to turn our lives into a work of art.

Life as a work of art - exercise
Article
Section 11: Love and Beauty
04:12
Ultimately, what is it all for? Are there values that are so important that they matter more than us? For me, these two values are Love and Beauty. Find out what these values are for you.
Love and Beauty - text
Article
Love and Beauty - exercise
Article

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Instructor Biography

Karim Benammar, Ph.D., Philosopher and author

Karim Benammar is a philosopher specialized in Thinking Techniques and the Philosophy of Abundance. His vision is to help people think about the paradigm shift from scarcity to abundance, about giving meaning to their life, and about creating value.

Of mixed Dutch-Algerian ancestry, Benammar grew up in Holland before going to study philosophy in England (BA, Sussex University, 1987) and the United States (Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, 1993). Fascinated by Japan, he continued his philosophy studies at the University of Kyoto. He was Associate Professor at Kobe University from 1996-2002 and at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences from 2003 to 2007.

Since 2002, he has focused on public philosophy, giving lectures and workshops to organisations and companies. He is connected to THNK School of Creative Leadership and The School of Life in Amsterdam.

He is author of Abundance (2005), Reframing - the art of Thinking Differently (2013) and editor of the collection Thinking about Money and Value (2014, in Dutch).

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