Success: Philosophical Perspectives

Course Code: PHIL 228

Academic Year: 2023-2024

From advertisements, to movies, from religious doctrines to constitutions, we are bombarded with images of success. We are told that everything from owning a fast car to living in the right country to using the correct kind of toothpaste will help us become successful. So we buy, and we try. And just when we think that we have achieved it, just when we think that it is within our grasp, success suddenly eludes us and we are left to figure out where we went wrong. Just what is it that we are chasing? What is success? What, if any, limits do we place on its pursuit? Why is success so elusive? In this course we address these questions as we examine competing accounts of success. Using the works of key figures in the history of philosophy, religion and literature, we explore the role which money, beauty, spirituality, pleasure, love, family, and happiness play in our conceptions of success.