Writing 105 – Human Happiness

Course Description: What is happiness? We seek it, talk about it, see it all over the news, but are we all talking about the same thing? Philosophers try to understand the nature of happiness while psychologists are concerned with measuring it, but often these projects are isolated from each other. We will look at various approaches to understanding happiness and use critical reading, writing and discussion to think about how the philosophical and psychological projects are compatible, or not. We will use podcasts, popular media and scholarly articles as a jumping off point for entering these debates. Furthermore, we will focus on how writing principles such as audience and purpose function across disciplines by looking at how different fields have approached questions of happiness. Students will be expected to write several argumentative essays, which will go through a process of peer-response, revision and self-assessment, culminating in an 8-10 page argumentative research paper.

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