SMU DCII asks ‘What is happiness?’ in 2014 IMPACT Symposia

SMU DCII Happiness SymposiumSMU’s Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute kicks off its 2014-15 programming with a long look at the science of happiness.

The two-month series on “Happiness: What Makes You Smile?” begins Thursday, Sept. 11 with Professor Dan Haybron of Saint Louis University speaking on “The Happiness that Matters” at 5:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

Haybron will bring up questions of whether the “happiness” that researchers study is important enough to a major life goal or policy concern. He will also discuss contemporary views of happiness as either “judgment” theories, which define happiness as being satisfied with your life, and “feeling” theories, which define happiness as a positive emotional condition. He will also discuss his finding: that happiness is a rich and complex psychological phenomenon, which plays a central role in a good life and a good society.

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Future events in the series will include the following speakers and dates. All events take place in McCord Auditorium:

  • 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 – “Happiness and the Law: Applying Happiness Research to Legal Policy, Legal Education, and Legal Practice” with Peter Huang of the University of Colorado Law School.
  • 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25 – “The Politics and Polemics of Happiness: Back to Postwar Future” with Mary Esteve of Concordia University.
  • 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 – “Happiness and the Brain” with Kent Berridge of the University of Michigan.

The IMPACT Symposia series aims to bring together faculty from across the disciplines and schools at SMU as well as individuals from the broader local and national academic communities to discuss and debate issues of pressing concern. Funding for the symposia has been provided by the Embrey Family Foundation.

> Learn more about Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute’s Happiness Symposia