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"What is the Good Life? Searching for Success: from Plato to Prozac"

This inaugural seminar is entitled:

"What is the Good Life? Searching for Success: from Plato to Prozac"

Friday, January 22, 3:00 – 9:30 p.m. – dinner included
Saturday, January 23, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – brown bag lunch optional


Selections marked with an asterisk (*) indicate those readings that will be discussed during the session. Other selections are supplemental reading.

SESSION I: Does a Successful Life Include a Religious/Philosophical Quest for Eternal Truths?
*Plato, "Cosmic Love"
St. Augustine of Hippo, "Augustine Describes His Conversion"
Epictetus, from The Handbook

SESSION II: Is Wealth Important for a Successful Life?
*Boethius, "Why Wealth is Not the Key to Happiness"
Thorstein Veblen, "Conspicuous Consumption"
David Rockefeller, from Memoirs

SESSION III: What is the Role of the Public Action, Power, and Fame in a Successful Life?
*Boethius, "The Emptiness of Fame"
*Niccolo Machiavelli, "Whether it is Better to Be Loved than Feared"
Mary Wollstonecraft, "A False System of Education"
Mary Robinson, Interview from Reflections on Success
Leo Braudy, from The Frenzy of Renown: Fame & Its History

SESSION IV: How do Friendships and Family Relations Contribute to a Successful Life?
*Lucretius, "Sex is Better than Love"
*Erich Fromm, from The Art of Loving
Jane Austen, "A Reunion" from Persuasion
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "The Pains of Love"
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How Do I Love Thee?"

CONCLUDING PANEL: Do Most People Believe They're Living a Successful Life? Why or Why Not? *Tom Morris, from True Success: A New Philosophy of Excellence

Seminar Leaders

Enjoy lifelong learning at this enriching lecture and discussion led by six of the region's most outstanding college and university faculty.

North Carolina Wesleyan College

  • Dr. Festus Cole, History - CV
  • Dr. Erica Kosal, Biology - CV
  • Dr. Jeffrey Perry, English - CV
  • Dr. Jonathan Sarris, History - CV
  • Dr. Lee Templeton II, English - CV

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Dr. Lloyd Kramer, Dean Smith Distinguished Term Professor and Chairman of the Department of History - CV

Gallery: "What is the Good Life? Searching for Success: from Plato to Prozac"