Stanford's course in the Art of Living

Progress! Humanities departments appear to be heeding calls to return to their original goal of helping students live better lives. Stanford now has a freshman course in the Art of Living, launched I believe in 2009.

Professor Lanier Andersen asks:

"What is actually for sale at this university? What are you paying all that money to purchase? Liberal education is about freedom not just in the negative sense of freedom from work. It's about a positive freedom, which allows a person to do something, be something, become a certain person - it's about what W.E.B DuBois called 'the soul's freedom for expansion and self-expression'. Liberal training is not about learning a trade. It's about learning to live in the first place. DuBois said: 'The riddle of existence is the college curriculum...The true college will ever have but one goal: not to earn meat but to know the end and aim of that life which meat nourishes."...'We cannot make you happy. The item for sale is not happiness, but the possibility of happiness. That requires an art for living.'

The second speaker, Professor Kenneth Taylor, is hilarious. 'I'd like to welcome you to the ownership of your life.' Awesome.

Have a look. All the lectures are available here.

1 - "Introduction to The Art of Living" from Stanford Humanities on Vimeo.