Coordinator Claire Briand is a speech pathologist who retired to Cape Cod more then a decade ago. Her ALL fall 2021 course shares the same content as Marietta McCarty's book "How Philosophy Can Save Your Life: The Ten Ideas That Matter Most ". Claire has offered this course at ALL for more than 10 years.
This fall’s ALL Catalog offers a broad range of exciting courses for members to choose from.
Claire Briand’s course started with an interesting book review in the Boston Globe. She notes "I read about the book and asked the library to order it for me. After reading it, I thought this would be a wonderful book to offer to others as a course." The Curriculum Committee agreed and Claire has taught the course "Philosophy Can Change Your Life" at ALL for more than ten years.
Claire notes "I am not a professional philosopher. I am not qualified to “save” people’s lives, so I changed the title for the course from How Philosophy Can Save Your Life to How Philosophy Can Change Your Life."
The book that serves as the basis of class discussion is How Philosophy Can Save Your Life: The Ten Ideas That Matter Most by Marietta McCarty. Each chapter focuses on a single topic, such as sympathy or empathy, and presents ideas of classic and modern philosophers whose work fits that topic.
Claire feels that reading and teaching the book has taught her (and those who have taken the course) how to handle issues differently. It is philosophy applied to day-to-day situations. It is not abstract references to Plato and Aristotle, although it does cite them as well as other classical/modern-day philosophers. She observes "This material has taught me to stop and think before I react to issues."
Class discussion is a lively exploration of how philosophy can be applied to make everyday life issues more manageable. Claire reports that the material can mean different things when it is reread over time. Because of this, many students have taken the class more than once. One student took the class a second time after her husband died. Several others repeated the class because they had found the discussions enjoyable.
When asked why the course is helpful in these times of Covid-19 Claire observed, "A lot of people are a little on edge right now or are having a hard time seeing things in a positive manner. This course helps you stop and think before you act." She continued, "That is valuable right now. Learning about the topics in this book make your life more flexible and easier. In these times, that is a good thing."
This is only one of the many courses that you still have time to register for.