Beginning with the symbolic representation of life and the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden, the course explores themes of alienation, the pursuit of happiness, questions of individual and common goods, and the cultivation of The Good Life. Authors central to our enquiry include Epicurus, Voltaire, Marx, Freud, Joseph Pieper, Bataille, and Wendell Berry. Topics included in the study of The Good Life are: power, sex, private jets, chocolate, Protestant work ethics, transcendental gastronomy, leisure, luxury, corporate life, status, gardens, and medieval mountain climbing. The course requires an additional lab section to foster exchange and to contextualize investigation regarding The Good Life with professionals and professors from a broad range of expertise and training in a variety of settings. The lab sections are coordinated with members of the University Garden Club.