ORIGINALLY RECORDED: May 8, 2023
ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: May 14, 2023
Human life is fleeting. We lose loved ones, our youth, and, well, everything else. What most people need more of is consolation: solace in the face of loss. On this episode, we explore the intellectual history of consolation, looking at how philosophers, artists, and even some politicians address the need for private and public comfort. From Cicero, to Abraham Lincoln, to Camus, we ask how the idea has evolved over time to be culture specific and idiosyncratic.
Michael Ignatieff is a trained historian, a professor, author, broadcaster, and the former leader of the Canadian Liberal Party. He has written fiction, history, philosophy, and public commentary, and currently teachers at Central European University in Vienna, Austria where he served as Rector. He is the author, most recently of On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times.
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