Pursue a Life of Action

Wed, Apr 15

What should you focus your time and attention on if you want your life to be more meaningful?  Should philosophy be put in the service of action?  Or is the main role of philosophy to feed our contemplative sides?  Today we consider one proposal -- the good life is one dedicated to justice and action on behalf of the good.  We also have a Crash Course video to help you piece together the different themes of the course so far.

By the end of this class session:

  1. You will be able to distinguish between a goal and action oriented life and the life of contemplation.
  2. You will discuss ways in which Martin Luther King uses the image of Socrates to defend activism.
  3. You will consider whether King's argument for civil disobedience is sound.

Read This:


Interactive Text: Letter from a Birmingham Jail (Martin Luther King Jr) 


Becoming Greta: Invisible Girl to Climate Activist (NYTimes)

Do This:

Complete the following questions in your GGL Journal:

  1. Why aren't you a full-time climate change activist?
  2. What is one way King uses a philosophical consideration about the good life to defend his decision to march on Birmingham?  Use a passage from the text to back up your discussion.  Are you convinced that the good life requires activism?

Watch This: