Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A18. "What is the Good Life?"

This course poses the enduring question, “what is the good life?” It examines historical and contemporary reflections on how to live well, starting with Plato’s Apology of Socrates. Socrates’ life and death inspired three different ways of thinking about the best life. Accordingly, the course features three units: Happiness, Morality, and Meaning. Though these traditions are rooted in antiquity, even the earliest answers within each tradition have relevance today. The principal texts exemplify the core commitments within each tradition while illuminating the Socratic legacy. Additional works—including literature, poetry, memoir, and music—invite students to put the three traditions into conversation with one another. This course aims not only to enlighten students but also to empower them to pursue the good life as they see it.

John PartridgeJohn Partridge
Associate Professor of Philosophy