Achievement and Happiness Conference

This is a two-day philosophy conference, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience in Glasgow as part of the Happiness Network, a collaboration between the University of Glasgow; Birkbeck, University of London; and the University of Southampton.

This conference is free to attend - please register on Evenbrite

Conference description

Achievement is commonly understood as a core component of happiness. Achievements themselves are thought to be vital elements in a meaningful life, the kinds of things that merit esteem and pride. So a life of achievement might be characterised by raising a family; a life of devotion to friends or church or country; a life of artistic or intellectual activity; a productive and successful career in business; and so on. A life without any of these things might seem lacking from the standpoint of meaning and happiness – or so intuition tells us.

Although it seems clear that achievement is valuable, it is not quite so clear why achievement is valuable for the person who achieves, and so contributes necessarily to a person’s happiness. In the above examples, the benefits seem most obviously to accrue to others. So why is achievement good for the person themselves? The aim of this two-day conference is to examine more closely the link between achievement, happiness, and related concepts, and aim to answer this and other questions.

Photo of Eric Liddell


Programme of talks

(abstracts and detailed programme to appear here soon)

Thursday 4 May 2023

Adam Carter (University of Glasgow): tba

Alessandra Tanesini (University of Cardiff): The quantified self and the gamification of achievement

Gwen Bradford (Rice University): Failure

Friday 5 May 2023

Glen Pettigrove (University of Glasgow): tba

Luke Russell (University of Sydney): Evil achievements

Ian James Kidd (University of Nottingham): Beauty, edification, and aesthetic myopia

Jennifer Corns (University of Glasgow): Why don’t achievements make us happy?