Aquinas on Happiness

Conception at Northwest

A Conception Seminary College Class Offered at Northwest Missouri State University through Northwest Catholic

Course Description

What is happiness?  What is the good life?  Are these two different questions or merely different ways of asking the same question?  We all want to be happy; we all want to live a good life.  Can we hit those targets if we are largely ignorant of the nature of happiness and the good life?  In this course we will examine the philosophy of happiness argued for by Thomas Aquinas, the 13th century Dominican philosopher and theologian, in his Treatise on Happiness.  Aquinas' theory of happiness is a synthesis of Aristotelian philosophy and Christian theology.  We will examine these two elements of Aquinas' theory and also compare Aquinas' views to modern thinking about happiness and the good life.

Course Text

Thomas Aquinas, The Treatise on Happiness & The Treatise on Human Acts, trans. Thomas Williams (Hacket, 2016); ISBN: 978-1=62466-529-5; $24.00.

Course Information

  • 3 credit hours ($200/credit hour)

  • Spring Semester 2022, starting January 2022

  • day/time: T/R - 2:00 - 3:30 pm (can be adjusted based on student/professor availability)

  • location: TBA

  • instructor contact:


Jonathan Fuqua (PhD) is an Assistant Professor of Philosopher at Conception Seminary College.  His research focuses on commonsense metaphilosophy of the sort endorsed by Aristotle, the Scholastics, Thomas Reid, and G.E. Moore, and more particularly on bringing this metaphilosophy to bear on scientific and philosophical challenges to moral realism.  He is the author of several articles and book chapters, the editor of Faith and Reason: Catholic Philosophers Explain Their Turn to Catholicism (Ignatius Press, 2019), and the editor for three forthcoming volumes:  The Cambridge Handbook of Religious Epistemology (Cambridge, forthcoming), Classical Theism: New Essays on the Metaphysics of God (Routledge, forthcoming), and By Strange Lights: Theologians and Their Path to Rome (Ignatius Press, forthcoming).