Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology


Imagine that extra-terrestrial researchers land on Earth with the mission of studying humanity. As part of their expedition they wish to sit in on one University Degree, but are unsure of which degree to choose. So they decide to carry out a survey, asking each individual human what it is they want in life. Based on the results, the aliens will then study the appropriate field. After conducting the survey and processing the data, they come to the conclusion that humans highly regard this thing called happiness.1 The Head Researchers unanimously decide that a ‘degree in happiness’ is in order. As they begin to search through the tertiary educational institutions of the world, they are amazed to find that there are little to no degrees in happiness. How could this possibly be? Did they misread the results of the survey? No. Were the humans deceiving them in their answers? No. How is it then that there is no degree in happiness?


A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Philosophy, School of Philosophy and Theology, The University of Notre Dame Australia.

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