Undergraduate Course: Philosophy of Well-Being (PHIL10152)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course will examine well-being, a central topic in philosophy. In part 1 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 part 2 we examine some general theoretical issues connected to well-being. These include: attempts to understand how well-being differs from other kinds of evaluation (moral etc) and scepticism about the concept of well-being. We will also look at whether well-being is holistic by examining whether lifetime well-being is determined via some simple function from momentary well-being. We will also examine how time and death connect to well-being, by looking at issues such as the timing of prudential goods, whether (and why) death is bad for us. We will also examine the connection between disability and well-being.
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)
|| Students MUST have passed:
Morality and Value (PHIL08015)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Essay and Participation [Essay 3,000 words, 80%; Participation 20%]
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Further development of core philosophical skills in philosophy: interpreting authors, reconstructing and evaluating arguments, articulating theories, etc
- Knowledge of the main theories of well-being, and their strengths and weakness.
- Ability to write an essay on the theory of well-being which displays critical assessment along with knowledge of the literature.
- An understanding of some of the main philosophical debates and practical issues which the theory of well-being has implications for
- Confidence to give a short class presentation with the help of clear visual aids
|Suggested Reading: |
Crisp, R. ┐Well-Being┐ in the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
Fletcher, G. The Philosophy of Well-Being: An Introduction
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||One two hour seminar every week for 11 weeks
|Course organiser||Dr Guy Fletcher
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
|Course secretary||Miss Ann-Marie Cowe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3961