Just Philosophy: A Simple Guide To Being Human In a Complex Age

         In a time where we are overloaded with information, I try to sort the different approaches to how to live as an individual in a divided community. How is society ordered? Where do I fit in? Where do I look for guidance?  

Outline
Introduction
          Mind Maps and the Beach
Part 1: Why is Our Culture Divided?
          Chapter 1: The Individual and The Community
                    What is Culture?
                    Who Heals? The Problem of Authority
                    The Individual vs The Crowd
          Chapter 2: The Human Brain
                    Brain Scans – What Can They Really Tell Us?
                    The Divided Brain
                    Hierarchies: Levels of Being                    
                    Top Down and/or Bottom Up
                    A Tale of Two Brains: Men vs Women
                    Resistance: On being wrong (Kaufman)
           Chapter 3: Information, Knowledge, Wisdom
                     Information Theory (language, signaling)
                     Criteria of Knowledge (Plato) 
                     Two types of Problems – convergent - divergent
                     Religion (limits of knowledge, collected wisdom)
Part 2: Observations of Human Societies
            Chapter 4: Why do Cultures Thrive and Decline?
                      Six criteria for successful culture (Introduction)
                      Anomie and Clarity (C.S. Lewis – Tao)
            Chapter 5: Natural Divisions of Societies
                      Similarities between Ancient and Modern Cultures (3 types)
                      Political Hierarchies (survival through organization – Maslow)
                      Civilization vs. Tribal Cultures
                      Civilization’s Divisions - (lower, middle, upper)
                      Constrained vs. Unconstrained Cultures
                      Extreme Cultures: Pragmatists vs. Idealists
            Chapter 6: Weaknesses of Modern Cultures
                       Evil exists or Can we all get along?
                       Cycles vs Progress – Is there an end of history?
                       Preferences vs fundamental differences
                       Modern mythologies – Utopia or Eternity?
                       The Virtual Life – living in the future
                       The Role of Personality and Genetics in Politics?
Part 3: Building a Culture
           Chapter 7: Community Realities
                         Two types of problems: (convergent, divergent)
                         The Many Walls of the Community – three classes
            Chapter 8: What is the Good Life?
                         The Purpose of the Law and Institutions
                         Virtues, rituals, and manners
                         Struggle and Discipline
Part 4: Life of the Individual
            Chapter 9: Stages of Life
                         Who Am I? Essence and Existence
                        Acquisition, Consolidation, Reflection
                        Language and Development
           Chapter 10: When and why of Autonomy
                         Convention, Conviction, Contemplation
Part 5: Thoughts on Transcendence
            Chapter 11: Philosophy
                         Human Concepts and Divine Ideas
                         Essence and Existence - When Does Life Begin and End?
              Chapter 12: Science
                          What is Time?
                         Heat Death of the Universe: Reality or Myth?
                         What’s Wrong with Complexity Theory of the Universe?
              Chapter 13: Reaching beyond the Veil
                        Do We Have Souls?
                        What Can We Know About An Immaterial Being (God -Circle)
                        What is Hell? The Problem of Evil
                        Love and Death