The Fulfilled Life and the Life of Law
The course stresses the importance of rational awareness of the structure of one’s arguments that can indeed be one means for helping to achieve a fulfilled life. This is central inter alia to Prof. Brewer’s concept of argumentation introduced to as Logocratic idea of the virtues of argument.
(1) Fulfillment in rational awareness of one’s concepts – associated with Socrates („the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being“)
(2) Fulfillment in rational awareness of virtue in a life plan — Aristotle on virtue and „eudaimonia“
(3) Fulfillment in meditative awareness (earlier and later Buddhist practices, such as „mindfulness,“ aimed at „liberation,“ nirvāṇa), and fulfillment in psychoanalytic awareness (focusing on Freud’s 1914 paper „Repetition, Recollection and Working Through,“ Erinnern, Wiederholen und Durcharbeiten). (For reasons I will explain to the students using a selection from M. Epstein, Thoughts Without a Thinker, I think it’s useful to teach and discuss meditative awareness and psychoanalytic awareness together.)
(4) Fulfillment as skeptical awareness – the Pyrrhonian skeptics‘ practice for achieving „tranquility“ (ataraxia – Sextus Empiricus: „ataraxia is an untroubled and tranquil condition of the soul“)
(5) Fulfillment as joyful wisdom (fröhliche Wissenschaft) awareness in mind-body (Nietzsche)