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Grant number like: AQ-50014-09

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Purchase College, SUNY (Purchase, NY 10577-1402)
Casey Haskins (Project Director: November 2008 to June 2011)

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Education Programs

$25,000 (approved)
$25,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

Questions of Happiness: Philosophy, Cinema, and Literature

The development of a course for undergraduates exploring the meaning and attainability of human happiness.

This course will examine the question "What is happiness?," using a variety of ancient and modern literary and philosophical works as well as films of diverse genres. Although this question is a staple of philosophical ethics courses, the importance of "Questions of Happiness" is that its approach will be both more interdisciplinary and "predisciplinary" than a traditional philosophy course. Its relation to larger issues in the humanities is methodological: rather than using strictly philosophical texts, it will use paired films and texts that will be juxtaposed along the axes of traditional vs. contemporary & philosophical vs. literary/cinematic. It is designed for all students, regardless of major, who seek to broaden their sense of the possibilities of human experience, as well as students who are already specifically studying film, literature, or philosophy.