: Professor Craig Callender
: Marta Halina
: TuTh 11-12:20
: H&SS 7077
Callender: Tu 2-3 and by appt.; Halina (Rm 8089): Wed 330-430
The primary purpose of this course is to teach philosophy majors how to
understand, write and present philosophical arguments. The course
will be somewhat unorthodox: no exams, no long lectures, no rows of
seats, and so on, but lots of presentations and writing. The idea
is that continued feedback on your writing and presentational skills
will provide a kind of "crash course" in the talents one needs to be a
good philosopher. And since strong aptitude in
comprehension/writing/presenting are needed outside philosophy too, it
is hoped that this course will serve all the students taking it, no
matter in what profession their future lie.
The secondary goal of this course is to study happiness and
well-being. What makes a person happy? Are particular ingredients
needed, e.g., a poodle? What is it for a person to live a good
life? Is there more to a good life than happiness? Is happiness
simply a mental state? Philosophers have studied these questions
since the dawn of the field. We'll examine the answers that have
been given. But we'll also try to bring this work to bear on
recent research in psychology and behavioral economics. One of the
freshest and most exciting areas of contemporary science is the study
of happiness. Surprising, and often shocking, discoveries
have been made about what makes us happy. What do these discoveries
mean for the philosophical questions, and how should we interpret these
experimental results in light of what we've learned from the
philosophy? Should these studies inform public policy, as many
scientists hope, or do they measure the wrong thing? The topic of
happiness will force the student to come to grips with a diverse range
of texts: ancient and modern philosophy, contemporary ethics,
contemporary science. Hence it is the perfect topic to help us
realize the primary goal of the course.
• Five essays, 3-4 pages single-spaced.
The first four essays are due in term, and the first two of these will
be on a very specific assigned question. The last, and fifth,
essay is due during exam week. It is to be a slightly longer and
completely re-written improved version of your best earlier paper (as
judged by you).
• Come to class prepared for discussion.
This means carefully reading everything assigned for the day. Because a discussion class is doomed if everyone
hasn't done the reading prior to class, your reading will be monitored
through a variety of means, e.g., quizzes.
• You will be assigned two-three (depending on
class size) 10-15 minute class presentations, in which one introduces
the material and raises interesting discussion questions about
it. Please stand at the front of the class and outline your main
points on a transparency for the overhead projector. (I'll
provide the transparency paper.)
• After your first essay has been graded, an
appointment will be made to meet with me face-to-face and go over the
paper in my office.
• I will also organize at least one in-class 'writing centers', to be explained.
Daniel Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness
is the only required book. It sells for under $15. Almost
all the other readings are available free online (though some require
that you be at UCSD or set up a UCSD proxy). ...
9/27 Introduction "The Hippies Were Right All Along About Happiness
10/2 Plato, Gorgias
, 482c-509c (Callicles
10/4 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
, Book I
10/9 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
, Book X
10/11 Kraut, "Two Conceptions of Happiness
10/16 Epicurus (Cicero, De Finibus
); PAPER 1 DUE
10/18 Mill, Utilitarianism
, ch,. II
; Brink, "Mill's Deliberative Utilitarianism
" read only 67-83. Guest
participant: Professor Brink.
10/23 Nozick "The Experience Machine"; Vasiliou, "Reality, What Matters, and the Matrix
Nettle, "Wanting and Liking" (summarized by CC in class)
10/25 Crisp, "Hedonism Reconsidered
10/30 Railton, "Facts and Values"
11/1 Sobel, "Full Information Accounts of Well-Being
" PAPER 2 Writing Centers
11/6 Nussbaum, "Women and Cultural Universals
" Part 2 PAPER 2 DUE
11/8 Arneson "Human Flourishing versus Desire Satisfaction
". Guest participant: Professor Arneson.
11/13 Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness
11/15 Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness
11/20 Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness
PAPER 3 DUE
11/27 Tiberius, “Well-Being: Psychological Research for Philosophers”,
11/29 Beardman, "The Choice Between Current and Retrospective Evaluations of Pain
12/4 Habron, D. "Life Satisfaction, Ethical Reflection, and the Science of Happiness
12/6 Thaler and Sunstein, "Paternalistic Libertarianism
"; Layard, "Towards a Happier Society
PAPER 4 DUE
12/13 PAPER 5 DUE
Papers 1-4 60%
Paper 5 20%
Plagiarism is evil. It is taking credit for someone else's
work. This work can be the exact text someone wrote, but it can
also be their ideas. Literally copying pieces of someone else's
text without attribution of course counts as plagiarism, but so does
paraphrasing someone's ideas without attribution. In general, if
you're worried that you ought to add a reference, add the
reference. Cases of student plagiarism immediately will be
referred to the Academic Integrity Office.
We'll talk a lot about this in class, but there are good materials available online. Here is a small sample:
In a ten week course we can only touch on some of the main topics
regarding the philosophy of happiness and well-being. Here are
some other papers and/or books that may be interesting to you.
Irwin, Plato’s Ethics
“Socrates the Epicurean,” “Aristippus Against
Happiness,” Aristotle’s First Principles, “Permanent
Nagel, “Aristotle on Eudaimonia”
Annas, The Morality of Happiness
Whiting, “Aristotle’s Function Argument: A Defense”
Whiting, “Human Nature and Intellectualism in Aristotle”
Irwin, “Kant’s Criticisms of Eudaemonism”
Sumner, Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics
Matthew Silverstein, "In Defense of Happiness: A Response to the Experience Machine."
Parfit, Reasons and Persons
, esp. appendix I.
Regan, “The Value of Rational Nature”
Darwall, Welfare as Rational Care
Velleman, “Well-being and Time”
Joseph Raz “The Role of Well-Being”
Tiberius, “Wisdom and Perspective”
Tiberius, “Value Commitments and the Balanced Life”, Utilitas,
Tiberius, "Cultural Differences and Philosophical Accounts of Well-Being"
Dan Haybron's webpage
Daniel Gilbert's webpage
Daniel Kahneman's webpage
Daniel Nettle, Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile
McMahon, Happiness: A History