GFVM1036 Happiness: East and West (3 units)
- Medium of Instruction:
Everyone desires happiness, yet happiness is elusive. What is it and how can it be attained exactly? There are at least two senses of happiness: happiness as a state of mind, a psychological concept, and happiness as well-being, a life that goes well for the person leading it. This interdisciplinary course investigates the nature of happiness and people's pursuit of it among civilizations in the East and the West. Interwoven with discussions from psychology, biology, politics, economics, philosophy and religion across history and continents, this course aims to enhance students' understanding of happiness and to engage students in interpretive, critical and reflective discussions to establish their own values and views toward a good life. Topics include subjective and objective theories of well-being, relations between well-being and morality, conceptions of happiness in the West such as the Aristotelian, the hedonist, the materialist and the existentialist, and conceptions of happiness in the East such as the Confucian, the Daoist, the Buddhist and the Hindu.
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