Introduction 00
Journey to Elsewhen 01
The View from in Here 02
Outside Looking 03
In the Blindspot of the Mind's Eye 04
The Hound of Silence 05
The Future Is Now 06
Time Bombs 07
Paradise Glossed 08
Immune to Reality 09
Once Bitten 10
Reporting Live from Tomorrow 11
Afterword 12

Printable Version

So here's a question that you're probably dying to ask me: Why does Stumbling on Happiness have twelve chapters? Does it have something to do with the number of days of Christmas, the number of tribes in Israel, the number of Apostles, monkeys, eggs, or angry men?

No. But as it happens, twelve is the number of weeks that a seminar at Harvard University typically meets, which means that my book is ideal for teaching. This year I designed and taught a seminar in which my students read one chapter from my book every week (plus a few other readings) and then met to discuss it. I taught one version of the seminar for graduate students and one for undergraduate students, and both seminars were great fun for me. The students seemed to like them, too. At least no one passed out.

In the syllabus, I've described the main idea that each chapter of my book raises, and included a few key points for discussion and references to some supplemental readings that might inform it. Copyright law prohibits me from posting the readings themselves, but you should be able to find them in a library. Feel free to copy this syllabus—use it, change it, rearrange it, or sell it on eBay.

One thing you'll notice about these readings is that they are primarily psychology articles because I am, in point of fact, a psychologist. That's why I say things like "in point of fact." I hope that those of you who read my book will send me suggestions for relevant readings in other fields—such as economics, biology, philosophy, business, the arts—to be included in future seminars.

If you do, I'll post your suggestions here on this website, and together we can build the world's longest reading list, thereby keeping several generations of promising young people from ever finishing college.

Happy stumbling!