It is said of the Quakers that they came to Philadelphia intending to do good, and ended up doing well. This quip raises several questions that will be explored in this course. What is it for one's life to go well? For a person to flourish, is it necessary that one do good for others? Is it enough or almost enough to be happy, that one is virtuous? Does single-minded devotion to the good of others undermine one's own happiness? Is happiness relative to how others are doing? Is happiness a rival good, such that one person's happiness depends on being superior to another? Can one person's happiness be bad for another person? Do we flourish best when we are all happy together? Are some people so constituted that their happiness is wrapped up in doing evil?
Course requirements: Two short (3 page) reaction papers, each summarizing and evaluating the argument of one of the readings.
One 5-7 page paper comparing and evaluating two readings on the same topic. One 10 page draft of the final paper, to be submitted for comments and used as a basis for writing a final 15 page paper. In addition, because this is a seminar, students will take primary
responsibility for presenting materials and initiating discussion.
This course is part of the Fall 2010 Theme Semster, "What Makes Life Worth Living?"