This course consists of four different units, each planned to last one or two weeks (though you can go at your own pace). Unit 1 introduces you to the topic of philosophy as a way of life. Unit 2 discusses the complementary perspective seen in the contemporary field of positive psychology.  Units 3 and 4 introduce you to two philosophical ways of life: Confucianism from the Chinese tradition and Aristotle’s from the Greek tradition. In this course, you will watch videos, have readings to complete, and engage in immersive exercises that allow you to try out the philosophers’ ideas.

Living a Good Life will help you become someone who . . .

  • thinks deeply, critically, and in a historically informed way about your beliefs, values, and desires, and those of others.
  • knows how to investigate various philosophical traditions, appreciates their diversity and commonalities, and relates these views to your own life in ways that clarify what matters to you.
  • appreciates the importance of asking—and trying to answer—big philosophical questions like: “What is the good life?”, “What should I value?”, and “What should I believe?”
  • understands the use and value of philosophy in helping you tackle some of the most practical and difficult questions and puzzles we all face.
  • has engaged in intentional exercises in self-cultivation.

Upon completion of Living a Good Life, you will be able to . . .

  • consider how philosophical theories and texts may be put into practice and see the theoretical implications of philosophical practices.
  • learn to read and understand the content and relevance of classic texts of philosophy.
  • understand how to interpret and wrestle with philosophical ideas in classical texts on your own.
  • know what it’s like to do experiments in living.
  • take steps toward developing and acquiring various character strengths and habits that matter to you.
  • continue to apply skills of self-work and further develop serious practices of critical self-reflection.

Upon completion of Living a Good Life, you will be able to . . .

  • recognise that assumptions about the good life are connected with assumptions about human nature/psychology and even metaphysical assumptions.
  • know how to use philosophical resources to raise and respond to questions about the good life.
  • understand how different thinkers and cultures have approached the topic of the good life over history.
  • be aware of the concept of moral psychology and how assumptions about human nature are intertwined with views of how to live.
  • know the differences and relations between philosophical and psychological approaches to living well.