The Good Life

Course Code: PHIL 2000

Academic Year: 2021-2022

In the last fifteen years, there has been an explosion of interest in happiness. People have always wanted to be happy of course; our oldest religious and philosophical traditions from around the world have offered us guidance on how to pursue happiness most effectively. What is new in recent years is the attempt to examine and test these ideas experimentally. Our guide to this research will be Jonathan Haidt's recent book The Happiness Hypothesis. In this book, Haidt describes the principal ideas about happiness as expressed in the religious and philosophical traditions of both the East and the West, and evaluates these claims through the lens of contemporary research. It is an exciting and engaging book, sure to challenge and expand many of your preconceived ideas about the sources of happiness. At the same time, we will use Haidt's book as an opportunity to explore the characteristic differences between religious, philosophical, and scientific thinking, in order to determine how we can bring their various insights together most productively. Category and Level: Arts and Humanities, Lower Level Restrictions: None