345-101-MQ, Happiness and Knowledge
What is happiness and what constitutes a happy life? Is it the continued acquisition of goods and social status? Is happiness the same as pleasure, or is the search for pleasure the cause of suffering and unhappiness? Is happiness to be found in a life of work, family and serving the community? Is it the product of mystical union with nature and/or God? Can one argue, as did classical philosophers, that well-being is a more rational goal than happiness and that well-being can only be defined by reason? Or is a life of art and emotion the path to peak experiences and are peak experiences the same as happiness? Is happiness outside the control of the individual and based on evolution and genetic predisposition? Can individual happiness be established through social reform and justice or through cognitive reform, self-help and therapy? These questions and more will be explored in this course.