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

Postgraduate Course: Philosophy of Well-Being MSc (PHIL11155)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will examine well-being, a central issue in moral philosophy.

Shared with undergraduate course Philosophy of Well-Being PHIL10152.

For courses co-taught with undergraduate students and with no remaining undergraduate spaces left, a maximum of 8 MSc students can join the course. Priority will be given to MSc students who wish to take the course for credit on a first come first served basis after matriculation.
Course description The course has two (roughly equal) parts:

Part 1: In this part we examine the main theories of well-being. These include hedonism, desire-fulfillment theory, objective-list theory, perfectionism. We will also look at some more recently developed theories, including hybrid theories.

Part 2: In this part 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, aesthetic, 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 some simple function from momentary well-being (the 'shape of a life' debate). 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, and whether posthumous events can impact well-being (and, if so, how).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. develop core philosophical skills in philosophy interpreting authors, reconstructing and evaluating arguments, articulating theories, etc.
  2. gain knowledge of the main theories of well-being, and their strengths and weakness.
  3. defend the student's preferred theory (if any).
  4. understand some of the main philosophical debates and practical issues which the theory of wellbeing has implications for.
  5. gain confidence to give a short class presentation with the help of clear visual aids and ability to write an essay on the theory of well-being which displays critical assessment along with knowledge of the literature.
Reading List
Textbook: G. Fletcher (2016) The Philosophy of Well-Being: An

This book will have a chapter corresponding to each week of class,giving a general overview of the topic. This will be supplemented with chapters from my (edited) 'Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being' along with other papers and books.

Full reading list available on Learn.
Additional Information
Course URL Please see Learn
Graduate Attributes and Skills Reading skills
Writing skills
Presentation skills
Course organiserDr Guy Fletcher
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)50 3860
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