ASP215 - Philosophy, Happiness, and the Good Life


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online, CBD*

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule:



Any first year Arts unit



Incompatible with:

ASP213/313, ASP315, ASP415

Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 2-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud (online)

1 x 2-hour online seminar per week


*CBD refers to the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute; Community Based Delivery


In this course, we look at some basic life questions everyone faces: what is happiness, and how do we attain it? Is pleasure the goal of life? Is fame the best thing to aspire to? Is strength of character enough to be happy, or do we need good luck? Should we moderate, or try to conquer emotions like anger? Is it ever right to lie? Is altruism the key to a good life, or pursuing self-interest? Each week, competing answers to these questions are examined, and students are prompted to engage with a host of the most important Western philosophers: Socrates, Aristotle, the Stoics, Cicero, Epicureanism, Natural Law, Hume, Kant and utilitarianism.

Unit Fee Information

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