2017-2018 University Catalog 
    
    Nov 27, 2021  
2017-2018 University Catalog archived

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REL 205 - Self-Help and the Pursuit of Happiness


FDR: HU
Credits: 4

This course addresses the relation of the concept of ‘self-help’ and ‘the pursuit of happiness’ to religion both past and present, and it considers philosophical, psychological, and medical-scientific perspectives on these pursuits. Students examine questions including the following: To what extent do the concepts and practices of self-help share in the pursuit of a supposed dream of religion and philosophy: to realize perfection, happiness, or the good life? Are philosophies and religions reducible to or interpretable as forms of self-help? How have modern scientific discoveries, in particular advances in cognitive science and medical science, shaped the modern pursuit of happiness? What are we to make of scientific claims to teach us how to be happy? This course meets once a week with SOC289: Sociology of the Self: Self-Help and PSYC 300: The Pursuit of Happiness in a seminar where students become teachers and lead a class in which we all discuss together the work we have done separately during the week. In this way, students become part of a broad learning community that cuts across the many disciplines and divisions that make up the university. Kosky.




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