It seems clear that people’s lives can go well or badly. But what is it for one’s life to go well? Does it consist in feeling good more often than feeling bad? Or getting most of what you want? Or does it consist in achievement, friendship, knowledge and a variety of other disparate things? It is highly tempting to think that your happiness matters for how well your life goes. But this raises further questions: what is happiness? Can it be measured? Is it a sensible goal for public policy? This module aims to explore questions such as these.
Aims and Objectives
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- the arguments for and against those theories.
- influential theories of happiness and wellbeing.
- the relevance of those theories for how we should live.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- explore the implications of those accounts for how we should live and organise society.
- see connections between those accounts and issues in other areas of study, such as economics, sociology, law, education, and politics.
- articulate and defend your own views concerning the nature of happiness and wellbeing
- evaluate critically influential accounts of happiness and well-being.
The syllabus may vary from year to year. Topics may include:
- Whether your life goes well to the extent that you get what you want
- Whether your life can get worse without you being aware of that fact
- Whether happiness is a feeling
- Whether we can meaningfully compare your happiness and mine
- Whether and how happiness ought to be a moral and/or political goal
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching methods include
- In-class discussion
- One-on-one consultation with module co-ordinator
Learning activities include
- Attending classes
- Contribution to class discussion
- Doing independent research for and writing assessed work
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Formative assessment descriptionDraft essay
Summative assessment description
Repeat type: Internal & External