THE IDEA OF HAPPINESS AND ITS HISTORY

The modern understanding of happiness is an apple that has fallen far from the tree that the Greek's named "eudaimonia". Please join us for an engaging course in this the inaugural semester of the Magnus Fellowship with author and scholar, Deal Hudson. This eight-week course will be composed of equal parts lecture and text-based discussion and survey the tradition on the question of human happiness through the eyes of the Ancients, Medievals, and Moderns. How has the idea of happiness lost its moral meaning and became the justification of immoral behavior and unbelief? Most importantly, can we recover the traditional understanding of human beatitude?

Course
Materials

To foster collegiality and great discussions, this course will be limited to a maximum of 24 Student Fellows.

Course Schedule:

Eight consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning September 8th ending November 3th. Excluding September 29th

5:30pm PACIFIC TIME
8:30pm EASTERN TIME

Five Lectures on the History of Happiness (Wyoming Catholic College 2004):

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESxZTrDNjks
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-C5mPxi-ek
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ThcbPut8iM
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFF-y7Klj7w
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FqNWZsEvHQ

Students will be responsible for finding the texts being discussed, though links will be posted to most of the readings.

Week One: Aristotle’s Ethics, Book I, Chapters 1-13 http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.1.i.html

Week Two:  St. Augustine, Confessions, Book 10 https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/110110.htm

Week Three: St. Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Happiness
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Articles 1-5, “Man’s Last End’ https://www.newadvent.org/summa/2.htm

Week Four: Dante, Paradiso, The Divine Comedy
Read at least Cantos 25-33 (XXV to XXXIII) of the Paradiso, but try to read all of it. https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/alighieri-the-divine-comedy-vol-3-paradiso-english-trans

Week Five: The Revolution of Renaissance Happiness
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Ch. 13, “The natural condition of mankind as concerning their happiness and misery.” http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/hobbes1651part1_2.pdf

Week Six: Jefferson The Declaration of Independence
Read the Declaration: https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript
Read John Locke, Essay on Human Understanding, Book II, ‘On Power,’ Chapter XXI, 49-75 https://www.gutenberg.org/files/10615/10615-h/10615-h.htm#link2HCH0024

Week Seven: Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
Read Parts 1 to 5 (I to V) of Civilization and Its Discontents and as much of the remainder you can. https://www.stephenhicks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/FreudS-CIVILIZATION-AND-ITS-DISCONTENTS-text-final.pdf

Week Eight: Psychological Happiness and Narcissism
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness (1930), Chapter 7, ‘the sense of sin;’ Chapter 10, ‘Is happiness still possible;’ Chapter 11, “Zest.”https://russell-j.com/beginner/COH-TEXT.HTM

Students can read from any translation they choose.

About Instructor

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 8 Lessons
  • Course Certificate

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