Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness

Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness is a television series presented by Alain de Botton, offering a self-help guide which applies the teachings of philosophers to dealing with life's everyday problems. The series consists of six episodes, each of which deal with one key philosophical figure and attempts to show how their teachings can be applied to modern everyday problems. Those philosophers include: Socrates on self-confidence, Epicurus on happiness, Seneca on anger, Montaigne on self-esteem, Schopenhauer on love, and Nietzsche on hardship.

Episode 1 - Socrates on Self-Confidence

Episode 1 - Socrates on Self-Confidence
Why do so many of us go along with the crowd and fail to stand up for what we truly believe? Alain De Botton tells the moving and inspiring story of how Socrates - a man who famously died for his beliefs - can help us stand up for our own.

Episode 2 - Epicurus on Happiness
The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus believed there were just three simple things we needed in order to be happy - and money wasn't one of them. Alain De Botton reveals what those things were.

Episode 3 - Seneca on Anger
Alain De Botton starts with anger and the philosopher Seneca who refused to view anger as an irrational outburst and thought it flowed from our surprise when things do not turn out the way we expect them to.

Episode 4 - Montaigne on Self-Esteem
Why do so many people suffer from feelings of low self-esteem? Alain De Botton looks at the problem through the eyes of the French 16th century philosopher Michel de Montaigne.

Episode 5 - Schopenhauer on Love
Alain De Botton surveys the 19th Century German thinker Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) who believed that love was the most important thing in life because of its powerful impulse towards 'the will-to-life'.

Episode 6 - Nietzsche on Hardship
Alain De Botton travels to Nietzsche's home in the Swiss Alps to tell the story of the philosopher's tormented life, before putting Nietzsche's theories to people who have faced difficulties or setbacks in their own lives.

Related Links
Introduction to Philosophy
Instructor: Professor Daniel Kaufman. This course explores various ways of understanding the human self and its relation to the world.
Examined Life
Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets.
Human, All Too Human
This is a three-part BBC documentary series following the lives of three prominent European philosophers - Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Paul Sartre.
The Great Philosophers
This is a series of intellectual conversations in which Bryan Magee discusses the major historical figures of Western philosophy with fifteen contemporary philosophers.