What Makes a Life Significant?

April 26, 2010

Philosopher Sissela Bok, Harvard professor Louis Menand, and Princeton professor Cornel West discuss what makes a life significant, in a panel discussion moderated by James Kloppenberg.

A little over a century ago, the Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James gave a public lecture entitled “What Makes a Life Significant?” In honor of the 100th anniversary of his death and to celebrate his enduring influence, this panel of distinguished scholars revisits the question posed in that lecture from a range of historical and contemporary starting points. What do we, in the 21st century, think “makes a life significant”? What can the academy contribute to an exploration of that question?



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