PHIL 181 - Lecture 5 - The Well-Ordered Soul: Happiness and Harmony

Lecture 5 - The Well-Ordered Soul: Happiness and Harmony


Professor Gendler begins with a poll of the class about whether students have elected to take a voluntary no-Internet pledge, and distributes stickers to help students who have made the pledge stick to their resolve. She then moves to the substantive part of the lecture, where she introduces Plato’s analogy between the city-state and the soul and articulates Plato’s response to Glaucon’s challenge: justice is a kind of health--the well-ordered working of each of the parts of the individual—and thus is intrinsically valuable. This theme is explored further via psychological research on the ‘progress principle’ and ‘hedonic treadmill,’ as well as in an introduction to Aristotle’s argument that reflection and reasoning are the function of humanity and thus the highest good.


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s TED talk “Flow”


Plato, Republic, Book IV 441c-445b (pp. 117-121); Book VIII, 588b-592a, (pp. 259-263)

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Selections from Books I & II

Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis, Ch. 5 (pp. 81-106)

Csikszentmihalyi's TED talk: “Flow”

Plato, Republic, Book IV 427e-441c (pp. 103-117)

Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis, Ch. 8 (pp. 155-180)

Course Media





Low Bandwidth Video

mov [100MB]

High Bandwidth Video

mov [500MB]