L&S Curricular Connections

L&S Discovery Courses

LS C160V / Psychology C162

Human Happiness

Social and Behavioral Sciences; Philosophy and Values

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to an understanding of happiness. The first part of the course will be devoted to the different treatments of happiness in the world’s philosophical traditions, focusing up close on conceptions of the good life in classical Greek and Judeo-Christian thought, the great traditions in East Asian thought (Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism), and ideas about happiness that emerged more recently in the age of Enlightenment. With these different perspectives as a framework, the course will then turn to treatments of happiness in the behavioral sciences, evolutionary scholarship, and neuroscience. Special emphasis will be given to understanding how happiness arises in experiences of the moral emotions, including gratitude, compassion, reverence and awe, as well as aesthetic emotions like humor and beauty.

Greater Good Science Center

Berkeley Social Interaction Lab

Terms Offered

  • Fall 2023
  • Spring 2022
  • Spring 2021
  • Spring 2020
  • Fall 2018
  • Fall 2017
  • Spring 2017
  • Spring 2016
  • Spring 2015
  • Spring 2012
  • Fall 2009
Professor Dacher Keltner talks about the science of happiness
Dacher Keltner (Psychology)

Distinguished Teaching and Service Award in the Social Sciences