Do We Have the Right to be Unhappy?
Free love. Great drugs. Decent food. Not to mention a society free of disease, crime, and virtually any sort of discomfort. What could possibly go wrong?
Join the hosts of The Partially Examined Life philosophy podcast for their 10th anniversary live recording on Aldous Huxley’s iconic dystopian novel, Brave New World. We’ll discuss whether technology is compatible with bravery, whether progress is actually progress, and whether the soul can survive the social conditioning required for a regime of Total Comfort. Here’s what the novel’s John the Savage has to say: “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin … I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”
Do we have the right to be unhappy? Perhaps that sounds like a silly question. But it may be that what is at stake are freedom, passion, independence of thought, and maturity. Huxley’s novel evokes a long philosophical tradition preoccupied with related questions: can (and should) aristocratic values—nobility, courage, and excellence—survive a utilitarian calculus? Can a hedonistic—or for that matter, therapeutic—ethos triumph so thoroughly as to become socially lobotomizing? Do we prefer a meaningful life even if it comes at the cost of great suffering? We’ll be making connections to all the usual suspects: to name a few, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Burke, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Hegel …. oh, and Twitter. Twitter will probably come up.
Doors 3:30 PM, show 4:00 PM.
Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
This event is mixed seated and standing room. Seats are first-come, first-served.
REFUND POLICY: Tickets maybe be refunded up to 24 hours before the event. Within 24 hours we may take exchanges for other events at our discretion. No refunds after the event.
Tickets come with a free month of membership giving access to Partially Examined Life bonus content.
Hosts Mark, Seth, Wes, and Dylan are some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living but then thought better of it. In each episode, we pick a text and chat about it with some balance between insight and flippancy. You don't have to know any philosophy, or even to have read the text we're talking about to (mostly) follow and (hopefully) enjoy the discussion. Now a decade old, The Partially Examined Life got started way before podcasting was cool, and with an audience of more than 100,000 listeners has long been one of the most popular educational podcasts on iTunes.
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