IDS2935: What is the Good Life
M, W period 8 (3:00-3:50), plus 1 discussion section/week
Turlington, room 007
Professors: Christopher Silver (College of Design, Construction and Planning),
Brenda Smith (School of Music), Victoria L. Rovine (School of Art and Art History)
Contact: Dr. Rovine—email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org; Aaron Keebaugh
email@example.com; David Whitehead
Office hours: to be announced in sections
Course web site:
Through a close examination of relevant works of art, music, literature, history, religion, and
philosophy, students will consider the basic question, “What is the Good Life?” The course will
serve as an invitation to the Humanities and to a lifetime of reflection on the human condition
through the unique opportunities available to the students at the University of Florida.
The Humanities, a cluster of disciplines that inquire into the very nature and experience of being
human, provide many approaches to the question ‘What is a good life,’ as well as a multiform
treasury of responses that comprises the cultural and intellectual legacy of world humanity.
The question is especially relevant for a detailed examination as you become more and more
involved in making the decisions that will shape your future and the future of others. In order to
make reasonable, ethical, well-informed life choices, it is useful to reflect upon how one might
aspire to live both as an individual, and a member of local and global communities.
The course is interdisciplinary and draws on the considerable humanities resources at UF. It is
also cross-cultural and draws on the full range of human experience across the world and through
time in trying to answer the question: “What is the good life?” It contains elements such as the
gateway readings, museum exhibits, and performances that are common to the several sections
being taught this semester.
The lectures, discussion sections, and other readings are specific to
your section of this course.
This course includes special exhibits at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, a musical
performance, and a lecture by a distinguished scholar.
We will discuss how these events fit into
the larger themes of the course throughout the semester. More information on them can be found
at the What is the Good Life Course Website
One exam (finals week December 13, 3:00-5:00)
1 long essay, 1000 words each (due in sections week 13)
2 short essays, 500 words each (due in sections weeks 4, 12)
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