Life-Affirming Talks by Cultural Mavericks Presented at The School of Life

Since the late 1990′s, Alain de Bot­ton has been break­ing down dif­fi­cult philo­soph­i­cal and lit­er­ary ideas and see­ing how they apply to people’s every­day lives. He did this with his 1997 best­seller, How Proust Can Change Your Life. And he took things a step fur­ther with his tele­vi­sion series called Phi­los­o­phy: A Guide to Hap­pi­ness.

Then, in the sum­mer of 2008, de Bot­ton and some col­leagues set up The School of Life, a Lon­don-based insti­tu­tion that offers cours­es “in the impor­tant ques­tions of every­day life,” in areas we all tend to care about: careers, rela­tion­ships, pol­i­tics, trav­els, fam­i­lies, etc. The school also hosts a series of “Sun­day Ser­mons” that fea­ture “mav­er­ick cul­tur­al fig­ures” talk­ing about the virtues they cling to, and the vices to be wary of.

Today, we’re fea­tur­ing sev­er­al of these ser­mons. Above, the actress, writer, and direc­tor Miran­da July takes an off­beat and endear­ing look at strangers, and the role they play in our lives. Then come some notable men­tions:

Physi­cist Lawrence Krauss on Cos­mic Con­nec­tions. (Also don’t miss this oth­er unre­lat­ed but splen­did talk by Krauss.)

Author Rebec­ca Sol­nit on Hope.

And Alain de Bot­ton him­self on the impor­tance of defy­ing pes­simism.

Again, you can find the full list of ser­mons orga­nized chrono­log­i­cal­ly here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es

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