On happiness

10 January 2014

The idea of happiness – what it is, who has it and how we can get more of it – gets a lot of attention these days. Sadly, almost all the literature on the subject is based on the experience of white, educated, industrialised, rich and developed (WEIRD) people from high-income countries. In light of this, a recent symposium organised by UCT's Brain and Behaviour Initiative drew together thinkers from the disciplines of philosophy, psychiatry and classics to examine happiness in our local context.

  • Is happiness good for you?
    Should psychiatry as a profession be working towards creating happiness? This is just one question among many posed by psychiatrist and UCT lecturer Dr Kerry Louw. Read more.

  • Happiness and virtue theory
    UCT philosopher Dr Tom Angier explores what we mean when we talk about happiness and well-being, arguing that there is a necessary connection between living a morally good life and achieving a state of well-being. Read more.

  • Living well by ubuntu
    Philosophy Professor Thaddeus Metz explores how the ubuntu tradition views 'the good life', and how this compares to a traditional Western view of how to live well. Read more.

  • A four-part drug to secure happiness
    Associate Professor of Classics Clive Chandler explains what Epicurean physics has to do with happiness. Read more.


Stories by Ambre Nicolson. Photos by Michael Hammond.

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