Few questions are more obviously important than that which Socrates poses in Plato's Republic: "how should one live?" This course considers the various ways this question has been asked and the answers it has received across a range of very different contexts. It begins with Socrates' address to the Athenian assembly in The Apology and his conclusion that the examined life is the only one worth living. We then turn to the Greek past and the Homeric background against which the reflective life, that Socrates exemplified, stood in stark contrast. With this background in place we will proceed to consider the various ways in which the question of how one should live has been answered across of a range of social settings. Drawing on ethnography as well journalism and documentary film we will consider, for instance, Rastafarianism, Jainism, living "off-grid" in North America, deaf communities in the US, transgenderism, and non-binary gender identity.
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