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How to be happy: Lessons from philosophy with Dr Clare Carlisle

Guardian Masterclasses

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (BST)

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How to be happy: Lessons from philosophy with Dr Clare Carlisle May 23, 2017 £49.00 £0.00
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Event Details

Explore what makes us happy with the help of some of the great philosophers at this class with Dr Clare Carlisle, senior lecturer at King’s College London and Guardian columnist

What is happiness? It’s a simple question, but finding an answer can take a lifetime. Does it mean pleasure or contentment, fulfilment or fun? What are the obstacles to being happy and how can we overcome them? 

This class will offer lessons in happiness from some of the great philosophers – Plato and Aristotle, Spinoza and Kierkegaard – who gave very different answers to these questions. We will explore their philosophical ideas alongside our own life experience to gain a deeper understanding of who we are and what makes us happy.

Combining theoretical notions with practical techniques, such as relaxation and mindfulness, this class is a chance to learn about philosophy while also examining our own motivations, thoughts and desires. 

Course content

  • The question of happiness
  • A mindfulness exercise
  • Happiness according to Plato and Aristotle
  • What is happiness? Exploring different concepts, including pleasure, fulfilment, contentment, joy and fun
  • Happiness according to Spinoza 
  • “Happy hour”: if we were given a free hour, how would we spend it? And what does it reveal about us?
  • Happiness according to Kierkegaard 
  • Obstacles to happiness

Tutor profile

Dr Clare Carlisle is senior lecturer at King’s College London, where she teaches philosophy, religion and ethics. Her books include Kierkegaard: A Guide for the Perplexed and On Habit, and she is currently writing a book on Spinoza’s philosophy and a biography of Søren Kierkegaard. She is interested in the connections between philosophy and “spiritual but not religious” practices, such as meditation and mindfulness. She has written numerous articles for the Guardian, including a series on Kierkegaard, Spinoza and Bertrand Russell, and articles on the topics of happiness and evil.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

Have questions about How to be happy: Lessons from philosophy with Dr Clare Carlisle? Contact Guardian Masterclasses

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When & Where


The Guardian
Kings Place
90 York Way
N1 9GU London
United Kingdom

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (BST)


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Organizer

Guardian Masterclasses

Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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