What is the course about?
This course provides a very practical introduction to ideas from philosophy which help understand and enhance
happiness, resilience, well-being and meaning. We'll explore key ideas from thinkers such as the Stoics, Utilitarians
and Existentialists like Viktor Frankl. You'll also learn about how recent research by psychologists provides an
evidence base for some of these ideas.
What will we cover?
Philosophical topics relevant to happiness, resilience and well-being, which may include:
- Stoicism and dealing with difficult emotions
- Meaning and purpose.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Name three philosophers who are relevant to personal development
- Select three ideas that you find particularly helpful for your own life
- Identify how you can start putting at least one of these ideas into practice in your life.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Introductory - no previous knowledge is required. Classes should appeal to those who are interested in their own personal development and to those with some interest in philosophy. The course is both theoretical and practical but is not intended as substitute for therapy and may not be approriate for people currently in crisis. It may be useful to coaches, therapists and others who are interested in helping other people live more wisely.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
A combination of lecturing, video, group and class discussion, and small group activities. Participants should be prepared to engage in group activities and work on their own issues.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Handouts will be given out on the day. Please bring a notebook and pencil. It would be useful to have familiarity with one or more of the following books (some are available in libraries): Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy (Penguin 2000); Tim LeBon, Wise Therapy (Sage, 2001); Tim LeBon Achieve Your Potential with Positive Psychology (Hodder 2014).
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
The course is self-contained, but will be useful as part of your study of philosophy and other personal development courses within our department, such as:
PG658 - Positive psychology and happiness
PG698 - Mindfulness: an introduction
PG608 - Creative thinking: a lateral approach
PG649 - Creative visualisation.