Eastern Philosophy: The Quest for Happiness
|Term||Special Spring Session 2020|
|Ages||10 & up|
What if you could always be happy? Do you think that’s even possible? Given the current global pandemic, you might think that the answer is obviously no. However, life was full of uncertainty and struggle 2,500 years ago, too. Philosophers living during that period of chaos and doubt in India and China thought a great deal about happiness and how to achieve it. Some of them believed that it was indeed possible to be happy, regardless of the circumstances. The reasons why may surprise you.
Using the novel The Circle of Happiness and the accompanying The Circle of Happiness Travel Guide, students will go on a quest for the meaning of happiness, encountering along the way the ideas of seven influential Eastern philosophers: the Buddha, the Upanishadic thinkers, Mahavira, Charvaka, Goshala, Confucius, and Lao-Tzu. Throughout the course, they will examine the foundational philosophical arguments of these thinkers, analyze primary source material, question their assumptions about what happiness is and how it might be achieved, and debate whether or not they think these ancient philosophers were onto something important or helpful.
Live Classes: Wednesdays, 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, from March 25th to May 20th. The live classes will be recorded for students who are unable to participate.
Assignments: There will be some short weekly assignments, including online discussions and written reflections.
Student Support: An online question-and-answer forum will be provided as students complete the assignments, and the instructor is available by email.
Feedback/Assessment: Feedback will be provided on written assignments.
Materials/Supplies: Students will need to purchase the books The Circle of Happiness and The Circle of Happiness Travel Guide. PURCHASE THE BOOKS FOR THIS COURSE AT A DISCOUNTED RATE HERE