Is the Examined Life REALLY Worth Living?
By Amy Willis
As philosophy and theology departments have been eviscerated at American universities, what have we lost? Have our universities been transformed into trade schools, and if so, what’s wrong with that? In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes philosopher Jennifer Frey to discuss just these sorts of questions.
We hope you’ll use the prompts below to help us continue the conversation:
1- Why is Frey critical of psychological (versus philosophical) approaches to happiness? What sort of character components does she think must also be considered, and why? What’s the difference between happiness and morality?
2- Why should philosophers and theologians be part of public policy discussions?
3- How would you define liberal learning, and what sort of role do you think it should play in university curricula? Would you favor a liberal arts core curriculum? Why or why not?
4- In what ways ought universities be reformed, according to Frey? Why do you think universities are increasingly uncomfortable making claims about the pursuit of truth?
5- To what extent are you consumed by workism? Do you agree with Frey’s claim that if you’re consumed by it, you’re not really free? Explain.
P.S. If you find yourself interested in reading Joseph Pieper’s Leisure: The Basis of Culture, you can find a reading guide to accompany the text at #EconlibReads.