Eastern Philosophy: The Quest for Happiness

Code EPHIL01
Ages 10 & up. Please contact us about enrolling a child under the age of 10.
Instructor Ingrid Klass
Price $400

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What if you could always be happy? Do you think that’s even possible? If so, how? About 2,500 years ago, philosophers in India and China were asking themselves these questions, and their answers 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 influential Eastern philosophers such as the Buddha, Confucius, and Lao Tzu. They will also dive into the vibrant historical period known as the Axial Age, a time when philosophical activity flourished all over Asia and Europe. Throughout the course they will explore their own personal ideas of happiness and debate whether or not they think these philosophers were onto something.

If you’ve ever wondered what Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Confucian, or Daoist philosophy is all about, this is the course for you! The course will include reading assignments, short writing assignments, and other projects. You’ll have the opportunity to finish with a creative project to share what you learned on your own quest for happiness.

Live Classes: Tuesdays, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, from August 20th to December 17th. The live classes will be recorded for students who are unable to participate.

Assignments: Every Tuesday, there will be a list of the assignments, resources, and activities for the next week posted on the online classroom. This will always include reading from the texts and optional fun videos or other resources. Each week students will also be asked to complete various activities based on the readings, such as posting to class forums, answering poll questions, contributing to class wikis, or discovering creative ways to think about the material. All required assignments are due the following Tuesday before class.

Student Support: The instructor is available by email.

Feedback/Assessment: Feedback will be provided on written responses and other substantial 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.

Prerequisites: Students should be able to read at a fifth-grade level and participate in course activities, including submitting thoughtful written responses to the questions. The course reading and activities are layered so that students at a variety of levels will have a substantive learning experience.

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