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07.06.2019 09:59 Alter: 10 days

Happiness and Good Life

Call for Applications

Theme: Happiness and Good Life
Subtitle: Philosophical Reflections through Cultures
Type: RVP Annual Seminar
Institution: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP)
  Deparment of Philosophy and Kamal Nehru College, University of Delhi
Location: New Delhi (India)
Date: 5.–11.1.2020
Deadline: 30.8.2019

Thematic Description

Happiness and Good Life are important ingredients of meaningful human
existence. Happiness in itself interacts with various dimensions of
good life—be it morality, health (mental and physical), wealth,
knowledge, responsibility, self-fulfilment, etc. In the realm of
Philosophy, happiness is a moral value and in today’s world we even
look at it as a self-interested value. Thus, happiness emerges not
only as a right but the responsibility to be pursued for complete
wellbeing. If positive psychology has been delving deep into
happiness and wellbeing studies, Philosophy as a discipline has also
contributed immensely on the topics under consideration—both from
eastern and western perspectives.

Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics gives an elaborate exposition of good
life and happiness through an understanding of ‘good’ wherein, “Every
art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit is
thought to aim at some good, and for this reason the good has rightly
been declared to be that at which all things aim”. For Aristotle,
happiness is a pleasant state of mind which is a habitual conduct of
virtuous deeds thus good life is a happy life which reflects in his
words as “…happy man lives well and does well…happiness as sort of
good life and good action”. Virtue in form of ‘action’ leading to
‘good life’ emerges as a philosophically resonating concept in
Aristotelian ethics.

The Indian ethics lays great emphasis on happiness and good life
through various philosophical thoughts within the subcontinent.
Bhagavadgītā—the quintessence of Indian culture and philosophical
theory—focuses on cultivating the spirit of Sthitaprajña (stable
intellect) while adhering to nishkāma karma (actions with complete
detachment from consequences), specifically on social preservation,
self-purification and self-realisation. This reflects in the words of
Bhagavadgītā as, “An unlearned act from attachment to their work, so
should the learned act, O Bharata, but without any attachment, with
the desire to maintain the world over.” Thus, while pursuing one’s
stationed duties a person learns to cut a middle course between
pravṛitti (path of indulgence) and nivṛtti(the path of renunciation)
and revolves around the concept of dharma (duty/righteousness) to
understand what is happiness and the path to good life within the
domain of Bhagavadgītā. 

While thriving in the 21st century world, people generally are facing
challenging conflicts in various situations of life, which make them
grapple with the following questions:

1. What is happiness/good life? Are pleasure and happiness identical?

2. Why and how can we lead a happy and good life while struggling
  amidst the pressures of competitive existence?

3. Can materialistic outlook and technological advancement alone give
  us happiness and good life?

4. Does existence based on social media enhances the happiness and
  helps in making life good?

5. Do we need support from religion and spiritualism for happiness
  and good life?

6. Is there eternal happiness?

7. How can happiness and good life be linked with responsibility/duty?

8. Is goodness in life different for people of different regions,
  cultures and countries?

9. Can there be any interconnection between environment/society and
  happiness/good life?

10. Do we interpret happiness/good life as a new human right or a
   global right?

11. Can connection between morality and happiness be explained and if
   yes what are the ways?

12. Is being happy and leading a good life a moral responsibility or
   a social duty or is it the aim of political structuring?

13. Can mindfulness practices, meditative techniques or yoga
   consciousness create a bonding between life and happiness?

14. Do we need a new form of morality for cultivating happiness and
   assuring good life for all?

15. Can happiness of few/more depend on the unhappiness of few/more
   and vice-versa?

16. Can happiness/good life be the goal of education?

17. How can physical and mental wellbeing be combined to make way for
   happiness/good life?

A week-long seminar to be held in New Delhi, India will address the
issues and concerns related to the above questions through a set of
prescribed readings that will be assigned to the participants. An
attempt will be made to revisit, study, analyse and understand the
different theoretical and practical approaches to happiness and good
life through /span> classical, modern and contemporary thoughts and
traditions. The aim will be to encourage the participants to make
presentations based upon philosophical reflections through their own
cultural traditions. This cross-cultural study of happiness and good
life will open newer avenues for better understanding of different
cultures across the world. 


The week-long seminar will have the following characteristics:

1. About 10 to 15 scholars from different countries around the world
  will be selected to participate in the seminar to maintain cultural

2. The seminar will be philosophically rooted but it will welcome the
  interdisciplinary and intercultural outlook.

3. The duration of the residential seminar will be seven days so that
  the participants get sufficient time for academic interactions and
  intercultural understanding to develop academic contacts and
  cooperation for future collaborations.

4. The participants will present their well-developed papers while
  accommodating few of the pre-assigned readings and ideas from
  lectures during the seminar so that papers can be considered for
  academic publication under RVP series “Cultural Heritage and
  Contemporary Change.”

Application for Participation

Please send the following information:

1. A brief CV.
2. An abstract based on the theme of the seminar in 500 words.
3. Letter of intent (the reason for participating in the Seminar) in
  250 words.
4. List of applicant's publication.

Please email the above information to:

1) Dr. Balaganapathi Devarakonda(
2) Dr. Geetesh Nirban (

The last date of the submission will be on August 30, 2019. The
notification will be sent on September 15, 2019.


There is no registration fees. Participants will take care of their
own travel expenses while the local organizers will bear the
responsibility of accommodation and food for all participants at New
Delhi during the period of residential seminar.

Academic Advisor:

Dr. Balaganapathi Devarakonda
Professor and Head
Department of Philosophy
University of Delhi
New Delhi, India

Coordinator (for queries, contact):

Dr. Geetesh Nirban
Asst. Professor (Senior Scale)
Department of Philosophy
Kamala Nehru College
University of Delhi
New Delhi, India
Mobil:: +91 9811423241

Website of the Seminar: