According to Aristotle the ultimate good is happiness—everything we desire we desire for the sake of happiness. Yet what is it to be happy? Should we value other things (say justice or passionate commitment and curiosity) over happiness? Are happiness and pleasure the same thing? Is happiness an emotional or mental state or is it a social construct? What do the social and psychological sciences have to teach us about happiness? Philosophy? Is the happy life a life of virtue? Does being virtuous guarantee happiness? How important are honor, money, love, work, friendship and our connections to others to our happiness? In this tutorial we will read from Ancient, modern and contemporary philosophical sources as well several relevant studies in the social sciences and positive psychology movement in order to engage questions concerning happiness.
The Class: Type: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: five 5-page papers and five 2-page papers
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Enrollment Preference: students interested in philosophy and/or happiness
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive;
Distribution Notes: WI: This course is writing intensive insofar as it requires over 35 pages of writing, regular feedback from me and your partner on writing and critical analysis, and successive efforts to improve your ability to write a variety of types of critical essays. Guidelines for different methods of engaging in critical analysis will be provided.