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In the 16 spirited conversations comprising this volume, authors Lou Marinoff and Daisaku Ikeda revive and celebrate philosophy as an accessible source of wisdom and courage for everyone. For Marinoff and Ikeda, the philosophies of Shakyamuni Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Aristotle, and Socrates are as relevant now as when first articulated more than 2,000 years ago. They are motivated by the conviction that philosophy should do nothing less than help draw forth an inner strength to face and surpass life’s inevitable hardships and challenges—showing here that wisdom is never out of reach and opportunities for positive transformation are many.
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About the Author
Lou Marinoff is a professor and chair of philosophy at the City College of New York. He is the founding president of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association and the author of The Big Questions, The Middle Way, and Plato Not Prozac. He lives in Monroe, New York. Daisaku Ikeda is the founder and president of the Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist organization with 12 million members worldwide. He has written and lectured widely on Buddhism, humanism, and ethics, and has published dialogues with global figures such as Arnold Toynbee, Linus Pauling, and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Table of Contents
1 Philosophy Begins With Questioning 1
2 Gratitude to Our Parents 15
3 Calling Forth the "Inner Philosopher" 25
4 The Source of Robust Optimism 37
5 Recovering Purpose and Connection 47
6 All Are Worthy of Respect 59
7 The Nature of Healing 71
8 Healing the Wounds of Arbitrary Division 81
9 The Healing Power of Dialogue 95
10 Dialogue for Peace and Humanism 109
11 Ancient Questions, Timeless Wisdom 121
12 On the Practice of Virtue 135
13 The Arts and the Human Spirit 149
14 Life and Death Are Not Separate 163
15 Women and the Building of Peace Cultures 183
16 To Relieve Suffering and Impart Joy 197
Appendix 1 Selected Works-Daisaku Ikeda 213
Appendix 2 Selected Works-Lou Marinoff 215
About the Authors 244
What People are Saying About This
“In this day and age, when uncertainty reigns along with various other dictates that challenge all aspects of human endeavor, it is essential that The Inner Philosopher become a part of world literature and world dialogue. The content within takes one to the front lines of life’s grand adventure of the enigmatic human condition, and further on to an open and revealing dialogue, unraveling the mystery of us.’” — Wayne Shorter, Grammy Award–winning jazz composer and saxophonist
“These sparkling and engaging conversations make a compelling case for the importance of philosophy in our lives and in our world. Daisaku Ikeda and Lou Marinoff are ideal guides to the nature and function of wisdom, from the times of the ancients through the challenges we all face now. This is a book that should be read by leaders, teachers, students, and adults of all ages.” —Tom Morris, author, If Aristotle Ran General Motors
“The conversations invite all to be seekers of truth, assuring us that all can and should engage in philosophic reflection on the issues of our individual lives and our common society. We are reminded that we are deprived of this most fundamental of human experiences, as we embrace the mastery of technology over the development of our humanity. We are encouraged by the wisdom the two share with each other and with us to release the inner philosopher to liberate the outer social actor.” —Betty A. Reardon, founding director emeritus, International Institute on Peace Education