The philosophy of happiness

What is happiness? How can we find a path to happier lives? Is there a single secret to happiness? Or does happiness mean different things to different people?

For generations, questions about human happiness have preoccupied philosophers across the world. “The Philosophy of Happiness” looks at philosophers from Ancient China and Greece to the present day. It explores the varied approaches that philosophers have taken to thinking about what happiness means; looks at what some of the greatest minds in history have said about why happiness matters; and asks how we might be able to attain greater happiness through taking practical steps in our own lives.

By the end of the course, you might not have discovered the secret of happiness, but you will have a better understanding of how to think more philosophically about happiness and a greater knowledge of the many different strategies that philosophers have proposed for building a happier world.

   1,400 students completed this course

   100% recommend it to other students

   Teacher: Will Buckingham


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100% of students recommend

  “This course was absolutely excellent! I was given 9 unique aspects of happiness, and my favorite part was I the final lesson where I was taught that each view is a different path to explore. I have internalized each of the lessons and will be applying!”

  “This is an excellent course! It gives a very broad view of all the different beliefs we have about what happiness is. It helped me see where I am out of sync with what I think and what I feel about what it means to be happy. Thank you for making it so enjoyable to explore this topic.”

  “I liked the variety of opinions of happiness that were covered. The summary was very inspiring and I will make my own happiness adventure mixing and matching from all of these ideas!”


Course plan

Lesson 1. What Is Happiness?
Lesson 2. Pleasure and Flourishing: Two Approaches to Happiness
Lesson 3. Positive Psychology and the Science of Happiness
Lesson 4. Aristotle: A Life of Flourishing
Lesson 5. Epicurus: Cheese, Wine, Friendship, and Keeping Out of Trouble
Lesson 6. Stoicism: Expectations and Reality
Lesson 7. Buddhism: Suffering and Its Ending
Lesson 8. Confucianism: The Elusiveness of Harmony
Lesson 9. Zhuangzi: Dragging Our Tails in the Mud
Lesson 10. Many Roads, One Mountain? Or Many Mountains?
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  • Format
    One lesson delivered via email daily
  • Duration
    10 days
  • Time
    5 minutes reading a day

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