Philosophy of Happiness
The philosophy of happiness is the philosophical concern with the existence, nature, and attainment of happiness. Philosophers believe, happiness can be understood as the moral goal of life or as an aspect of chance; indeed, in most European languages the term happiness is synonymous with luck. Thus, philosophers usually explicate on happiness as either a state of mind, or a life that goes well for the person leading it.
We have proved that justice in itself is the best thing for the soul itself, and that the soul ought to do justice…— Plato, The Republic
Aristotle (384 – 322 BCE) held that eudaimonia is the goal of human thought and action. Eudaimonia is usually translated as happiness, but “human flourishing” may be a more accurate translation. Eudaimonia involves activity, exhibiting virtue (arete, Greek: ἀρετή) in accordance with virtue.Within the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle points to the fact that many aims are really only intermediate aims, and are desired only because they make the achievement of higher aims possible. Therefore, things such as wealth, intelligence, and courage are valued only in relation to other things, while eudaimonia is the only thing valuable in isolation.Aristotle regarded virtue as necessary for a person to be happy and held that without virtue the most that may be attained is contentment. Aristotle has been criticized for failing to show that virtue is necessary in the way he claims it to be, and he does not address this moral skepticism.
Main article: Cynicism (philosophy)
As a consequence the sage, even if he has his troubles, will nonetheless be happy, even if few pleasures accrue to him.— Diogenes Laertius on Anniceris
“He recommended that one should concrete on the present day, and indeed on the very part of it in which one is acting and thinking. For only the present, he said, truly belongs to us, and not what has passed by or what we are anticipating: for the one is gone and done with, and it is uncertain whether the other will come to be”
Some immediate pleasures can create more than their equivalent of pain. The wise person should be in control of pleasures rather than be enslaved to them, otherwise pain will result, and this requires judgement to evaluate the different pleasures of life.
Of all the means which wisdom acquires to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the most important is friendship.— Epicurus
“Do not fear god,
Do not worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure.”
(Philodemus, Herculaneum Papyrus, 1005, 4.9–14).
If you work at that which is before you, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract you, but keeping your divine part pure, as if you were bound to give it back immediately; if you hold to this, expecting nothing, but satisfied to live now according to nature, speaking heroic truth in every word that you utter, you will live happy. And there is no man able to prevent this.— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
School of the Sextii
The School of the Sextii was founded by Quintus Sextius the Elder (fl. 50 BCE). It characterized itself mainly as a philosophical-medical school, blending Pythagorean, Platonic, Cynic, and Stoic elements together. They argued that to achieve happiness, one ought to be vegetarian, have nightly examinations of conscience, and avoid both consumerism and politics, and believe that an elusive incorporeal power pervades the body.
Augustine of Hippo
Nevertheless, to praise you is the desire of man, a little piece of your creation. You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.— St. Augustine, Confessions.[26
The happy life is joy based on the truth. This is joy grounded in you, O God, who are the truth.— St. Augustine, Confessions.
Mortal creatures have one overall concern. This they work at by toiling over a whole range of pursuits, advancing on different paths, but striving to attain the one goal of happiness.— Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy.
Main article: Avicenna
Main article: Maimonides
Maimonides (c. 1135-1204) was a Jewish philosopher and astronomer, who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars and physicians. He writes that happiness is ultimately and essentially intellectual.
God is happiness by His Essence: for He is happy not by acquisition or participation of something else, but by His Essence.
— St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Michel de Montaigne
Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) was a French philosopher. Influenced by Aristotelianism and Christianity, alongside the conviction of the separation of public and private spheres of life, Montaigne writes that happiness is a subjective state of mind and that satisfaction differs from person to person. He continues by acknowledging that one must be allowed a private sphere of life to realize those particular attempts of happiness without the interference of society.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was a German philosopher. His philosophy express that egotistical acts are those that are guided by self-interest, desire for pleasure or happiness, whereas only compassion can be a moral act.Schopenhauer explains happiness in terms of a wish that is satisfied, which in turn gives rise to a new wish. And the absence of satisfaction is suffering, which results in an empty longing. He also links happiness with the movement of time, as we feel happy when time moves faster and feel sad when time slows down.
Władysław Tatarkiewicz (1886-1980) was a Polish philosopher, historian of philosophy, historian of art, esthetician, and ethicist. For Tatarkiewicz, happiness is a fundamental ethical category.
Herbert Marcuse (1898–1979) was a German-American philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory.In his 1937 essay ‘The Affirmative Character of Culture,’ he suggests culture develops tension within the structure of society, and in that tension can challenge the current social order. If it separates itself from the everyday world, the demand for happiness will cease to be external, and begin to become an object of spiritual contemplation. In the One-Dimensional Man, his criticism of consumerism suggests that the current system is one that claims to be democratic, but is authoritarian in character, as only a few individuals dictate the perceptions of freedom by only allowing certain choices of happiness to be available for purchase. He further suggests that the conception that ‘happiness can be bought’ is one that is psychologically damaging.
It is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy.’ But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to ‘be happy’.— Viktor Frankl
Happiness research is the quantitative and theoretical study of happiness, positive and negative affect, well-being, quality of life, life satisfaction and related concepts. It is especially influenced by psychologists, but also sociologists and economists have contributed. The tracking of Gross National Happiness or the satisfaction of life grow increasingly popular as the economics of happiness challenges traditional economic aims. Richard Layard has been very influential in this area. He has shown that mental illness is the main cause of unhappiness. Other, more influential researchers are Ed Diener, Ruut Veenhoven and Daniel Kahneman.
Sonja Lyubomirsky asserted in her 2007 book, The How of Happiness, that happiness is 50 percent genetically determined (based on twin studies), 10 percent circumstantial, and 40 percent subject to self-control. Lyubomirsky suggests a twelve-point program to maximize the final 40 percent.
Cultures not seeking to maximise happiness
Not all cultures seek to maximise happiness, and some cultures are averse to happiness.
- Cassin et al. Dictionary of Untranslatables. Princeton University Press, 2014. Print.
- Happiness. stanford.edu. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 2011.
- Plato, The Republic 10.612b
- Joshua Olsen, Plato, Happiness and Justice
- Richard D. Mohr, “A Platonic Happiness”. History of Philosophy Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Apr., 1987), pp. 131-145.University of Illinois.
- Daniel N. Robinson. (1999). Aristotle’s Psychology. Published by Daniel N. Robinson. ISBN0-9672066-0-XISBN978-0967206608
- Book I Chapter 1 1094a.
- Kraut, Richard, “Aristotle’s Ethics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2012/entries/aristotle-ethics/>
- Xenophon, Symposium, iv. 41.
- Diogenes Laërtius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, vi. 3
- Cynics – The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- “The Stoic Sage”. ancientworlds.net.
- Diogenes Laërtius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, ii. 96-97
- Diogenes the Cynics: Sayings and Anecdotes with Other Popular Moralists, trans. Robin Hard. Oxford University Press, 2012. Page 152.
- Annas 1995, p. 230
- Aelian, Historical Miscellany 14.6
- Diogenes the Cynics: Sayings and Anecdotes with Other Popular Moralists, trans. Robin Hard. Oxford University Press, 2012. Page 124.
- Copleston 2003, p. 122
- Vincent Cook. “Epicurus – Principal Doctrines”. epicurus.net.
- Hutchinson, D. S. (Introduction) (1994). The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia. Cambridge: Hackett. p. vi.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. iii.12
- Stoicism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Russell, Bertrand. A History of Western Philosophy
- Paola, Omar Di (2014-06-13). “Philosophical thought of the School of the Sextii – Di Paola – EPEKEINA. International Journal of Ontology. History and Critics”. Ricercafilosofica.it. 4 (1–2). doi:10.7408/epkn.v4i1-2.74.
- Emily Wilson, The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca. Oxford University Press, 2014. p.54-55
- St. Augustine, Confessions. Trans, Henry Chadwick. Oxford University Press, 2008. p:3
- St. Augustine, Confessions. Trans, Henry Chadwick. Oxford University Press, 2008. p:199
- Mendelson, Michael (2000-03-24). Saint Augustine. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ethics-everyone/201106/achieving-hapGenesis creation narrativepiness-advice-augustine
- R. J. O’Connell, “The Enneads and St. Augustine’s Image of Happiness.” Vigiliae Christianae Vol. 17, No. 3 (Sep., 1963)
- “Achieving Happiness: Advice from Augustine”. Psychology Today.
- “True Happiness and The Consolation of Philosophy”. catholic.com.
- Introduction to The Consolation of Philosophy, Oxford World’s Classics, 2000.
- Dante identified Boethius as the “last of the Romans and first of the Scholastics” among the doctors in his Paradise (see The Divine Comedyand also below).
- Sanderson Beck (1996).
- “Avicenna (Persian philosopher and scientist) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia”. Britannica.com. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- Engebretson, Kath; Souza, Marian de; Durka, Gloria; Gearon, Liam (2010-08-17). International Handbook of Inter-religious Education. google.ca. ISBN9781402092602.
- Influence of Arabic and Islamic Philosophy on the Latin West. stanford.edu. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 2018.
- “Ghazali, al-“. The Columbia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17 December2012.
- Bowering, Gerhard. “[Untitled].” Rev. of The Alchemy of Happiness Translated by Claud Feild and Revised by Elton L. Daniel. Journal of Near Eastern Studies July 1995: 227-28. Print
- Bodman Jr., Herbert L. “(untitled).” Rev. of The Alchemy of Happiness Translated by Claud Feild and Revised by Elton L. Daniel. Journal of World History Fall 1993: 336-38. Print.
- Imam Muhammad Al-Ghazali (1910). “The Alchemy of Happiness”. Retrieved 8 January 2016.This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Maimonides: Abū ʿImrān Mūsā [Moses] ibn ʿUbayd Allāh [Maymūn] al‐Qurṭubī 
- A Biographical and Historiographical Critique of Moses MaimonidesArchived 24 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- “Maimonides – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. utm.edu.
- “Summa Theologica: Treatise On The Last End (QQ-5): Question. 3 – WHAT IS HAPPINESS (EIGHT ARTICLES)”. sacred-texts.com.
- Catholic Online. “St. Thomas Aquinas”. catholic.org.
- “Aquinas: Moral Philosophy – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. utm.edu.
- “Summa Theologica”. sacred-texts.com.
- ST, I-II, Q. 2, art. 8.
- “SparkNotes: Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225–1274): Summa Theologica: The Purpose of Man”. sparknotes.com.
- “Montaigne, Michel de – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. utm.edu.
- “Bentham, Jeremy – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. utm.edu.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Idea. Cologne 1997, Volume One, §52th.
- “Władysław Tatarkiewicz,” Encyklopedia Polski, p. 686.
- Herbert Marcuse. stanford.edu. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 2017.
- Marcuse, Herbert (1991). “Introduction to the Second Edition”. One-dimensional Man: studies in ideology of advanced industrial society. London: Routledge. p. 3. ISBN978-0-415-07429-2.
- “A Lesson About Happiness From A Holocaust Survivor – Business Insider”. Business Insider. 22 October 2014.
- “A Psychiatrist Who Survived the Holocaust Explains Why Meaningfulness Matters More Than Happiness”.
- Feser, Edward (4 May 2005). “Nozick, Robert”. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Richard Layard, 2006. “Happiness and Public Policy: A Challenge to the Profession,” Economic Journal, 116(510), Conference Papers, pp. C24-C33.
- Happiness: Lessons from a New Science. Penguin. 2011-04-07.
- Sonja Lyubomirsky, David Schkade and Kennon M. Sheldon, “Pursuing Happiness: The Architecture of Sustainable Change,” Review of General Psychology, Vol. 9, No. 2, 111–131, 2005
- “Are You Happy? by Sue Halpern”. nybooks.com. 2008-04-03.
- “News : Press Enterprise”. pe.com.
- Hornsey, Matthew J.; Bain, Paul G.; Harris, Emily A.; Lebedeva, Nadezhda; Kashima, Emiko S.; Guan, Yanjun; González, Roberto; Chen, Sylvia Xiaohua; Blumen, Sheyla (2018). “How Much is Enough in a Perfect World? Cultural Variation in Ideal Levels of Happiness, Pleasure, Freedom, Health, Self-Esteem, Longevity, and Intelligence”(PDF). Psychological Science (Submitted manuscript). 29 (9): 1393–1404. doi:10.1177/0956797618768058. PMID29889603.
- See the work of Jeanne Tsai
- See Life,_Liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_Happiness#Meaning_of_”happiness” ref. the meaning of the US Declaration of Independence phrase
- Joshanloo, Mohsen; Weijers, Dan (2014). “Aversion to Happiness Across Cultures: A Review of Where and Why People are Averse to Happiness”. Journal of Happiness Studies. 15 (3): 717–735. doi:10.1007/s10902-013-9489-9.
- “Study sheds light on how cultures differ in their happiness beliefs”.
- Also June Gruber http://www.gruberpeplab.com/people.php#directorsuggests that seeking happiness can have negative effects, such as failed over-high expectations, http://gruberpeplab.com/research.php and instead advocates a more open stance to all emotions. https://www.theguardian.com/science/audio/2018/jul/20/the-dark-side-of-happiness-science-weekly-podcast Other research has analysed possible trade-offs between happiness and meaning in life.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2013.830764https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439760.2015.1117129?src=recsyshttps://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/the-differences-between-happiness-and-meaning-in-life/
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia