Wednesday, March 25, 2020
I am taking a free online course from Coursera and Yale University on the Science of Well-Being. The course is taught by Professor Laurie Santos.
I may blog about the course at a later date. I am taking the course both for the content and for online teaching strategies.
Update (1/2/21): While I found some suggestions in this course helpful, I think philosopher Jennifer Frey makes a thoughtful critique of this course and the happiness hacking it promotes. In relevant part, Professor Frey writes:
"Happiness, pagan and Christian philosophers agreed, requires something more than technique or self-help; it requires the transformation of the person that comes with the acquisition of virtue: wisdom, prudence, justice, courage, and temperance. Wisdom gives us a clear vision of what is truly good, prudence allows us to deliberate well so as to attain and maintain that vision, justice to realize it in our actions, and courage and temperance to preserve it in the face of fears and temptations. Acquiring virtue is not about hacking oneself or engaging in other forms of self-manipulation; it is about the proper habituation of one’s thoughts, feelings, and desires so that one becomes existentially ready to seek what is truly good and beautiful. In this view, there is a truth about the human desire for happiness, which is that it can either be properly directed toward the possession of what is actually beautiful and good, or it can be improperly directed, remaining within the prison of the self and closed off from transcendence."