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The Good Life Lecture Series

The Good Life

The Making of the Modern World
Public Lecture Series, Winter 2014

The Greek philosopher Aristotle distinguished between “mere life” and “the good life.” Mere life involves the fulfillment of necessities like food and shelter. The good life, on the other hand, involves the thoughts and deeds, ideas and actions, that express our highest ideals: life as we would like to live it. Not food as nourishment, but food as delight and pleasure; not shelter as mere protection from the elements, but shelter as artistic expression.

For some, the definition of the good life is the task of philosophy and theology. For others, it involves politics and economics, psychology and sociology. More recently, cognitive and neuroscientists have taken up this topic.

At all times and in all places, the definition of the good life has been controversial. For example, the Declaration of Independence proclaims the “self-evident” truth that “all men” have an inalienable right to “the pursuit of happiness.” But what is happiness? How do we pursue it? How should we pursue it? And are there times we should refuse to make the pursuit of happiness our life goal?

 In this series, the good life is explored by eight of UC San Diego’s finest teachers and scholars.

If you missed this year's lecture series, no worries! The entire series has been recorded by UCSD -TV. Simply click on the lecture's link you want to watch and enjoy the show. 

DATE

LECTURE

JAN 22

ALAN HOUSTON, INTERIM VICE CHANCELLOR
OF STUDENT AFFAIRS

"Ben Franklin and the American Dream" [video]

JAN 29

ROGER REYNOLDS, UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR 

"Musings on 'Good Lives': Relationships, Sustenance, Aspirations - TRUTH, SECRETS, BOUNDARIES, PURPOSE, FLIGHT" [video]

FEB 5

GABRIELE WIENHAUSEN, ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR
EDUCATION IN THE DIVISION OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

"College as a Shake Table: Why rattled students
are better prepared for the Good Life"

FEB 12

CAROL PADDEN, DEPT. FOR COMMUNICATION AND
CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN LANGUAGE
"Different Lives, Different Languages"

FEB 19

FONNA FORMAN, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
TEDDY CRUZ, PROFESSOR OF VISUAL ARTS

"The Urbanization of Happiness and the Decline of Civic Imagination"

FEB  26

PRADEEP KHOSLA, UC SAN DIEGO CHANCELLOR
"Remaking the Modern Research University"
 

MAR 5

AL PISANO, DEAN OF JACOBS SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
"Engineering as a Force for the Public Good"

(Note: Roger Reynolds' lecture will be held at The Department of Music's Conrad Prebys Concert Hall)