12 x 1-hour lectures per semester
12 x 1-hour seminars per semester
Enrolment not permitted
PHIL2400 has been successfully completed
Topic description

Many people consider happiness to be the main goal of human life. This topic considers various issues in connection with this, with a particular focus on the role of mental health. What is happiness? What is the connection between our temporary emotional states and an overall good life? What role do our attitudes, rational abilities, social relations, and sense of identity play in well-being? To answer these questions, the topic will draw on contemporary ideas in philosophy and psychology, as well as classical ideas from both Western and Eastern traditions.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Address key issues in central theories of the good life
  • Identify key points in recent discussions of the good life
  • Encourage students to formulate a coherent argument which make reference to some key literature, both ancient and recent, on the good life
  • Enable students to clearly express their ideas about the philosophy of science both in writing and orally
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Understand and discuss central texts on the good life
  2. Appreciate and critique some of the central arguments in ancient and recent literature on the good life
  3. Formulate your own views and arguments on some important issues in recent literature on the good life
  4. Clearly express their philosophical views on the good life both in writing and orally

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.