A Short Introduction To Philosophy The School of Azzyland – Free Ebook

Didn’t I ask for a cocktail?

PRODUCER: Three, two,
one, action.

NARRATOR: AzzyLand presents

most of what you need
to know about philosophy

in around five minutes.

The word philosophy tells us
why the subject matters.

It’s originally a word
from Ancient Greek.

The first part, “philo,”
means love.

The second part “sophia”
means wisdom.

So, philosophy means,
quite literally,

“The love of wisdom.”

But what does wisdom mean?

NARRATOR: Let’s begin
at the beginning, shall we?


For Plato, the essence
of living a wise life

came down to the command,
“To know yourself.”

His big idea was that our lives
so often go wrong

because we don’t give
ourselves time

to think carefully
and logically.

Meaning that we often end up
with the wrong values,

careers and relationships.

I want to marry the princess.

You? Marry the princess?

AZZYLAND: Plato observed
how proud

people were
about their instincts,

making snap decisions
based on how they felt.

He compared
this to being dragged along

by a group of blindfolded
wild horses.



AZZYLAND: Daoism, or “The Way,”

is based on the concept
of wu wei,

which means “non-doing”
or “doing nothing.”

But it doesn’t mean being lazy.

Wu wei is connected
to reverence

for the natural world.

We should behave like bamboo
that bends in the wind

or the plant that adjusts
itself to the shape of a tree.

Instead of trying
to force things,

we must put our egos aside

to be at one
with the environment.

We can be like water,
which is submissive and weak,

but it has the power
to wear down

what is hard and strong.

NARRATOR: Stoicism.

Stoicism flourished
for around 400 years

in Ancient Greece and Rome.

But it’s still a useful guide
for teaching us

how to be calm and brave

in these uncertain
and anxious times.

What we need to do
is systematically

and intelligently crush
every last vestige of hope.

It is far better,
the Stoics proposed,

to courageously come to terms
with every worst possibility

and then make ourselves
entirely at home with them,

embracing what could happen
if our worst fears came true.

We would cope.

Vogue break!


NARRATOR: Machiavelli.

Machiavelli said,
wicked people use lies,

threats and violence
to get their way.

And that’s why
they rule the world.

most famous book…

The Prince.


The Prince gave advice
to princes,

who ran things in those days,
on how to get things done.

The Prince was not a guide
to being a tyrant.

It’s a guide about
what nice people

need to learn from tyrants,

so they can be effective.

[SNAPS] Manstool?

NARRATOR: Nietzsche.

Nietzsche’s boldest assertion
was that God is dead

and we killed him.

This was not
some kind of boast.

Nietzsche thought
that religious beliefs
are very useful.

And he called for a reformation

in which people
would fill the gaps

created by the disappearance
of religion

with the wisdom
and healing beauty of culture.

NARRATOR: Existentialism.

The Existentialists focused
on the agony of choice.

They asked us
to reject the delusion

that perfection is within reach.

That sinking feeling
that we had

that option to choose
correctly, but failed,

is an illusion.

Disappointment is just
an inevitable characteristic

of the human condition.



Philosophy used
to be [BLEEP] cool,

with people like Socrates
out in the streets

in Ancient Greece
asking people real questions

and discussing [SNAPS]
big ideas.

Over time, those big ideas

have become stuck
in universities

and debated by people
with no interest

in actually
improving the world.

But the Internet
is turning the tables

and philosophy is back, baby,

with ordinary people
asking deep questions

in discussions
just like this one.

Right here, on YouTube.

that you’ve had a crash course

in what philosophy actually is,

catch up
on the rest of the series,

as some of YouTube’s
most popular creators

tackle some of philosophy’s
most intriguing ideas,

right here,
on The School of Life.

Want to know more?
Of course you do.

Click the link below.