Happiness for all?

Ref: C2339826

Happiness is generally regarded as worth having but it's not easy to define what it means to be happy. This course explores the meaning of happiness with the help of the utilitarian philosopher Bentham, who coined the phrase "the greatest happiness of the greatest number". His ideas continue to have profound social implications, from how to deal with crime to cost-benefit analysis. His approach has also influenced our attitudes to pain, which he regarded something humans naturally want to avoid and should therefore try to minimize, rather than as character-forming or fate.

Course aim

This course explores what it means to be happy and how happiness is analyzed in Bentham’s utilitarian philosophy.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain different meanings of happiness
  • Give an indication of the intellectual background for Bentham's theory of happiness
  • Explain Bentham's theory of 'pain' and 'pleasure'
  • Identify the advantages and risks associated with the 'greatest happiness of the greatest number' principle
  • Using examples, show the influence of Bentham's ideas today

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • study sources : Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, article on Bentham (more introductory) Hampsher-Monk, Modern Political Thought ch VII (very in depth)

Download full course information sheet

Happiness for all?

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing