Home > Consumerism, Genuine wealth > Interview with Daniel Barbezat

Interview with Daniel Barbezat


Click the audio player to hear an interview with Prof. Daniel Barbezat of Amherst College (MA). He discusses his groundbreaking economics course called ‘Consumption and the Pursuit of Happiness’, which questions traditional notions in economic theory about the relationship between consumption, wealth and satisfaction.

Daniel Barbezat received the Jonathan Hughes Prize for Excellence in Teaching Economic History at the 2004 annual meeting of the Economic History Association.

From the course description:

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson breaks with John Locke’s emphasis on “life, liberty and property” and instead asserts that the basic rights (“inalienable”) of humans are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  In this bold move, Jefferson placed “happiness” at the core of the political and personal concern.  In this seminar, we will examine how we define, measure, and attempt to generate and maintain happiness.  We will undertake exercises that will allow students to become mindful of their own well-being and will allow them to have direct experiences of the issues we address.  Students will gain practice in the articulation of their ideas and internal states through speaking, writing and self-awareness.

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