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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2017/2018

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Undergraduate Course: Philosophy of Well-Being (PHIL10152)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will examine well-being, a central topic in philosophy. It has three parts. In part 1 we examine the main theories of well-being. In part 2 we discuss some general theoretical issues connected to well-being, specifically in relation to perfectionism. In part 3 we analyse some case studies regarding well-being and the ethics of care, within an empirically informed debate.
Course description Part 1: In this part, we examine the main theories of well-being. These include hedonism, desire-fulfilment theory, objective-list theory, perfectionism. We will also look at some more recently developed theories, including hybrid theories and happiness theories of well-being, in relation to the developments of positive psychology.

Part 2: In this part, we examine some general theoretical issues connected to well-being, specifically in relation to perfectionism. These may include: the relation between human nature and human capacities, motivation and affectivity, and goods and value; the meaning of excellence qua happiness; epistemic emotions and intellectual virtues; the role of agency, exercise, and training; the common good, the capacities for social bonds, and human rights. We will discuss the main objections to perfectionism, as the ones regarding its teleology, the essence of human nature, the role of pleasure and pain for the agency, elitism, the scope of rationality in relation to childhood, disability, and non-human animals. Some texts, from Ancient to Contemporary philosophy, will be examined to frame the theoretical issues within the history of philosophy and the contemporary debate.

Part 3: In this part, we will analyse some case studies within an empirically informed debate. We may focus to the education for well-being, the role of spirituality for well-being, the promotion of well-being in the work-place and in the health-social care, social welfare, the ecological well-being of others (ecofeminist ethics).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Morality and Value (PHIL08015)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay and Participation [Essay 3,000 words, 80%; Participation 20%]
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Academic year 2017/18, Part-year visiting students only (VV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay and Participation [Essay 3,000 words, 80%; Participation 20%]
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Further development of core philosophical skills in philosophy: interpreting authors, reconstructing and evaluating arguments, articulating theories, etc
  2. Knowledge of the main theories of well-being, and their strengths and weakness.
  3. Ability to write an essay on the theory of well-being which displays critical assessment along with knowledge of the literature.
  4. An understanding of some of the main philosophical debates and practical issues which the theory of well-being has implications for
  5. Confidence to give a short class presentation with the help of clear visual aids
Reading List
An indicative biography is the following (exact readings will be listed in the course guide):


Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics.
Barnes, E. The minority body (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016)
Bradford, G. Perfectionism in G. Fletcher (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (London and New York: Routledge), 124-134.
Brink, D. Perfectionism and the Common Good (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2003).
Candiotto, L. (2017) Epistemic emotions: the building blocks of intellectual virtues, Studi di estetica 1/2017.
Candiotto, L. (2016). ¿Extended affectivity as the cognition of the primary intersubjectivity¿. Phenomenology and Mind 11
Daly, A. (2014). ¿Primary Intersubjectivity: Empathy, Affective Reversibility, 'Self Affection' and the Primordial 'We', Topoi, 33, pp. 227-241
Darwall, S. Welfare and Rational Care (Princeton: PUP, 2004).
Dorsey, D. (2010). Three Arguments for Perfectionism, Nous, 44 (11), 59-79.
Feldman, F. Pleasure and the Good Life: Concerning the Nature, Varieties and Plausibility of Hedonism (Oxford: OUP, 2004).
Fletcher. G. The Philosophy of Well-Being (London and New York: Routledge 2016)
Glasgow, J. (2013) 'The shape of a life and the value of loss and gain', Philosophical Studies, 162/3, 665-82.
Foucault, M. The History of Sexuality, vol. 2: The Use of Pleasure, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage Books, 1990).
Fredrickson, B. L. (2001) The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. The broaden- and-build theory of positive emotions, American Psychologist, 56: 218¿225.
Gruen, L. Entangled Empathy (New York: Lantern Books 2015).
Haybron, D. The Pursuit of Unhappiness (OUP)
Dorsey, D. (2010), 'Three Arguments for Perfectionism', Nous, 44: 59-79.
Hawkins, J. (2014) 'Well-Being, Time and Dementia', Ethics, 507-542.
Hurka, T. Perfectionism (Oxford: OUP, 1993).
Isen, A. M., Levin, P. F. (1972) Effect on feeling good on helping, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 21 (3): 384-388.
Kraut, R. What is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-Being (Cambridge Mass.: HUP, 2007).
Nussbaum, M. Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2000).
Plato, Protagoras.
Plato, Republic.
Plumwood, V. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature (New York: Routledge 1993).
Regan, D. 'Why am I My Brother's Keeper?' in R. J. Wallace et al. (eds.) Reason and Value: Themes from the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004), 202-30.
Sen, A. (2005), ¿Human Rights and Capabilities,¿ Journal of Human Development, 6(2): 151¿66.
Van Direndonck D, Mohan K. (2006) ¿Some thoughts on spirituality and eudaimonic well¿being, Mental Health, Religion and Culture 9(3): pp. 227¿238.
White, N., A Brief History of Happiness (Malden, MA: Blackwell 2006)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information One two hour seminar every week for 11 weeks
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserProf Theodore Scaltsas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3649
Email: Scaltsas@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Ann-Marie Cowe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3961
Email: Annmarie.Cowe@ed.ac.uk
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