A Map to the End of Time

Wayfarings with Friends and Philosophers

By Ronald Manheimer
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393047257, 332pp.)

Publication Date: April 1999

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Description
Teaching philosophy to retired people should be a path to wisdom, Ron Manheimer thought. He was right, but in an unexpected fashion. His lively Socratic "dialogues" with older people led him into hilarious and provocative conversations with a colorful cast of fellow seekers: from his bon vivant Danish mentor Augie Nielsen to his strong-willed elderly student Hildegard, from his ironic teenaged daughter Esther to his wisecracking Uncle Joe.Like James Carse in Breakfast at the Victory, Manheimer reinvigorates the ancient tradition of using storytelling to explore truth. What is romantic love? How do we shape the stories we tell ourselves about our own pasts? Does the purpose of life become clearer in old age? How do we find common meanings across religious, ethnic, and generational divides? What is the essence of a person? What does it mean to live a "full" life?Showing how ideas and lives can illuminate one another, Manheimer's engaging narratives address these questions while providing an inviting exploration of the ideas of thinkers from Plato and Aristotle to Kierkegaard, John Stuart Mill, and Martin Buber. A great teacher, Manheimer shows how these philosophers might provide the footgear for treading everyday paths of human experience, on our inevitable journeys to "the end of time."

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