Course Vision

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

Skills and Competencies

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
  • engage in fruitful dialogue: to hear/read what others say/write accurately, to ask probing and critical questions, and to be charitable and gently critical
  • 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

Knowledge and Understanding

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
  • show a familiarity with the views of four different schools of philosophy and understand how they differ
  • know how to critically engage with these schools, and know how to put them in conversation with one another
  • 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