Philosophy for Life

Ref: C3673610

How do we live a good life? That is, a life that is of value to other people, to other sentient beings, to the world in general and, of course, to ourselves. This question has been asked throughout human history. We read of “new” discoveries by psychologists and scientists, but in this course we may find that all the answers have already been worked out. We will examine efforts to answer this question by some of the great thinkers, both secular and religious, and attempt to construct for ourselves a toolkit for surviving contemporary life. Participants will be encouraged to test out some of the principles we discuss and provided they are happy to, share the results with the class. While this is an educational environment rather than “group therapy”, the tutor will attempt to facilitate a safe and supportive atmosphere for sharing and learning from each other, held by clear ground rules.

Course aim

To introduce philosophy as a form of therapy for life.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify some key principles for "Living a Good Life" which work, or seem likely to work if put into practice, for myself and my world.
  • Identify some key principles which, though coming from different philosophies, disciplines or religions, and expressed in different language or justified by different theoretical rationales, practically amount to the same thing.
  • Feel familiar with the lives of some of the great thinkers and have some understanding of "where they were coming from" both personally and intellectually.
  • Examine the ideas of some of the great thinkers critically as well as perhaps feeling better equipped to identify gurus, prophets and therapists of somewhat dubious provenance and fallacious argument!

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Participants will be encouraged to experiment out of class time with some of the principles we discuss in class. Working in pairs or small groups out of class time will be suggested.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • You might like to look at "Philosophy for Life" by Jules Evans and "The Shrink and the Sage" by Julian Baggini and Antonia Macaro. But no pre-course reading is essential.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Philosophy for Life

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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