On this view, the experiencer is always right. There are, according to Haybron (2003), when looking at theories of happiness, 3 basic views: Hedonism – in other words, to be happy is to experience, on the whole, a majority of pleasure. Although the terms eudaimonia and subjective-wellbeing are not necessarily interchangeable, Kesebir and Diener (2008) argue that subjective well-being can be used to describe well-being, even if it may not be an absolutely perfect definition! Which one you believe has implications for how you lead your life, raise your child, or even cast your vote. New York: Oxford University Press. But what is happiness? To explain simply, eudaimonia is defined as ‘activity expressing virtue’ or what Aristotle conceived as happiness. This is what makes it so fascinating to read Aristotle’s thoughts on happiness. It is assumed that humans are entitled to pursue and attain happiness (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). the fountainhead frederick douglass into the wild civil rights movement frankenstein marijuana motivation high school vs college my family smoke reflective essay definition stress domestic violence their eyes were watching god. In the 1970s Bhutan replaced the goal of gross national product with -- believe it or not -- gross national happiness. So, to create more happy moments in life, step away from the desk and initiate a conversation with a work colleague, or send an SMS to someone you have not seen for a while. Whatever one chooses tobe important in life ultimately its value is measure in the amount of happiness, contentement or wellbeing it brings. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. These three experts say it’s impossible to always be happy, because setbacks and bad things are natural parts of life. Human functioning and social justice: In defense of Aristotelian essentialism. Desire theory holds that that fulfillment of a desire contributes to one's happiness regardless of the amount of pleasure (or displeasure). Other research has reported that positive affect influences memory recall and the likelihood of altruistic actions. Being completely engaged in an activity is termed ‘flow’. If you ask anyone, what is their ultimate goal in life; the majority may say it is to find happiness. There are, in our view, three types of traditional theories of happiness. Instead, he put forward the term ‘eudaimonia’. However, as well as these objective reasons why happiness is important, happiness also brings with it some positive experiences and feelings. The several shifts driving the happiness surge were powerful enough to propel happiness into politics by century’s end, with the American revolutionary commitment to the pursuit of same. Positive emotions in early life and longevity: Findings from the nun study. ), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. The world's largest collection of tea cups, no matter how "satisfying," does not seem to add up to much of a happy life. Some contemporary philosophers and psychologists question self-report as an appropriate measure of happiness. Both of these theories are more consistent with the eudaemonist theories of ‘flourishing’ (including Aristotle’s ideas) because they describe the phenomenon of needs (such as autonomy, self-acceptance, and mastery) being met (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). Happiness can be predicted not merely by pleasure but by having a sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. (, What is this thing called happiness? They conducted two separate experiments. Having a strong religious affiliation has also been shown to be of benefit. A truly happy individual accepts reality for what it is, and what’s more, they actually come to love ‘what is’ (Puff, 2018). It has been found by some experimental studies that happiness raises productivity. However, much of this research has taken place in laboratory sessions where participation was unpaid. Don’t forget to download our 3 Positive Psychology Exercises for free. Striving for things we really want can make us feel happy, provided the goals are realistic. Without a little bit of suffering there would be no possibility to empathy to the suffering of others and so forth…. There is evidence to suggest that loneliness does affect life satisfaction. Hellenic history (i.e. good luck) or other external circumstances (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). Krystle, 23. Aristotle (2000) stated that “no one would choose to live without friends, even if he had all the other goods” (p. 143). Satisfaction with income has been shown to be related to happiness (Diener, 1984). The purpose of this article is to explore the philosophy of happiness in life, including taking a closer look at Aristotle’s philosophy and answering some of those “big” questions about happiness and living a ‘good life’. It is the case that having enough (i.e. Authentic Happiness. Desire theory subsumes hedonism when what we want is lots of pleasure and little pain. We all hope to be happy and live a ‘good life’– whatever that means! Seeking help may not immediately come to mind when considering how to create happy moments. If you could not tell the reason behind your sudden smile, that is the definition of happiness according to me. He argued that education was the embodiment of character refinement (Pursuit of Happiness, 2008). Nozick's (1974) experience machine (your lifetime is in a tank with your brain wired up to yield any experiences you want) is turned down because we desire to earn their pleasures and achievements. Here are some books that you can read to further your understanding: I don’t know about you but, whilst exploring the philosophy of happiness is fascinating, it can be incredibly overwhelming too. Their happiness comes from their deep seeded religious views of Buddhism, which teaches them that happiness comes from helping others, having their basic needs met, and having an inner peace. (2003). Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. It summarizes the American Dream like no other idea. Aristotle. Waterman, A. S. (1993). Kane (2017) has come up with 15 ways in which happiness can be increased: Savoring ordinary moments in everyday life is a skill that can be learned (Tartarkovsky, 2016). Laughter really is the best medicine! Western society, even academia, are thoroughly obsessed with this question. Oswald and colleagues also conducted a second study which involved a further 179 participants who had not taken part in the first experiment. They put forth the notion that happiness was “secure enjoyment of what is good and beautiful” (Plato, 1999, p. 80). Write a 350- to 750-word paper describing your reaction to the video with respect to the Bhutanese views on happiness. Which certainly leads to the obvious question… does happiness actually increase productivity in a true employment situation? It actually precedes and causes these outcomes! Provide specific examples from the video that you found interesting or meaningful. The relevance of Aristotle’s conception of eudaimonia for the psychological study of happiness. Happiness (eudaimonia), to Aristotle, meant attaining the ‘daimon’ or perfect self (Waterman, 1990). India Perdue Writing 5 Deanne Harper 15 March 2016 The Christian Approach to Happiness How should we live in order to be happy? Instead of happiness, he said, “Well-being is a better word. If so, then your question concerns matters of value, namelywhat is good for people—the sort of thing that ethical theoristsare trained to address. Philippines. Efforts that the individual puts in to strive for the daimon are termed ‘personally expressive’ (Waterman, 1990). How are eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment different? Kahneman, D. (1999). Happy workers are less likely to burn out, be absent from work and quit their job (Lyubomirsky, 2018). Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Positive psychology. This section has provided a comprehensive summary of the philosophy of happiness. adequate) money is necessary for happiness but is not sufficient to cause happiness. However, since the dawn of time, philosophers have been pursuing the inquiry of happiness… after all, the purpose of life is not just to live, but to live ‘well’. Now we can sharpen the initial question somewhat: when you ask whathappiness is, are you asking what sort of life benefits aperson? [1] A hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain). I appreciated this article. To Aristotle, the natural state for an object is to be at rest. I would love to hear your thoughts on this fascinating topic! Happiness can, in fact, be predicted by where our minds wander to when we’re not focused on the present. In Nietzsche’s days, the doctrine of ‘utilitarianism’ was the most widely held view about the role happiness in life. housing, food, and health-care. Showing self-compassion can lead to happy moments and improve overall wellbeing. "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less." the fountainhead frederick douglass into the wild civil rights movement frankenstein marijuana motivation high school vs college my family smoke reflective essay definition stress domestic violence their eyes were watching god. The key characteristic of this way of life is to constantly exercise and extract the best of each individual. In pursuit of happiness: empirical answers to philosophical questions. Sen, A. Enjoy! Mayerfeld, J. Commodities and Capabilities. Feelings and sensations are secondary and pursuing primary objectives must at times or very often have control over feelings Happiness, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. One move to deflect this objection is to limit the scope of Desire theory to the fulfillment of only those desires that one would have if one aimed at an objective list of what is truly worthwhile in life. Further on in this article, the relationship between happiness and productivity will be explored more thoroughly. In other words, Socrates believed that to be happy you need to know what’s good for you. Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude. Taking a ‘glass half full’ attitude to life can certainly enhance feelings of happiness. Remember your last vacation? The retrospective summary judgment of happiness often differs greatly from the extrapolated total of experienced happiness. So the Desire criterion for happiness moves from Hedonism's amount of pleasure felt to the somewhat less subjective state of how well one's desires are satisfied. The happiness that is a factor of enlightenment is not dependent on objects but is a state of mind cultivated through mental discipline. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/happiness, Kane, S. (2017). I hope that I have managed to simplify some of the ideas about happiness so that you have a better understanding of the nature of happiness and what it means to live a ‘good life’. This article can provide a helpful resource for understanding more about the nature of happiness, so feel free to look back at it down the track. Retrieved from https://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/aristotle. He believed that happiness was the goal of life, achieved by living virtuously. If people have both a desire to be happy and the ability to be happy, does this mean that they should, therefore, pursue happiness for themselves and others? ancient Greek times) was largely dominated by the prominent theory of hedonism (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). Doing so enables one to continually make good choices and lead a happy life. He believed that happiness was the goal of life, achieved by living virtuously. In this article, you will also find some practical tips that hopefully you can put in place in your own life. They conducted longitudinal as well as experimental studies, and their research clearly showed that people who could be classified as ‘happy’ were more likely to succeed in their careers. Happiness. & Cummins, R. (2008). Do you wonder, what does it actually mean? It has also been found that people who are happy contribute more to society (Conkle, 2008). Happiness. Most interestingly, however, 16 individuals did not display increased happiness after watching the movie clip, and these people did not show the same increase in productivity! The participants who watched the video showed significantly greater productivity. In fact, he valued friendship very highly, and described a ‘virtuous’ friendship as the most enjoyable, combining both pleasure and virtue. The pitfalls to pursuing happiness. Go into any book store and large sections are dedicated to the wide range of ‘self-help’ books all promoting happiness. – Dale Carnegie. In all its variants, it holds that happiness is a matter of raw subjective feeling. The Christian Views On Happiness; The Christian Views On Happiness. Following on from a brief historical overview, the possibility, desirability, and justifiability of happiness will be explored. Aristotle was mistaken about many things, and the pursue of happiness is one of them. Gratitude has been defined as having an appreciation for what you have, and being able to reflect on that (Tartarkovsky, 2016). But we are reluctant to classify such an existence as "happy" and the Objective List theory tells us why. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. The basic role of ‘philosophy’ is to ask questions, and think about the nature of human thought and the universe. Also, it is beneficial for the sense of wellbeing not to take life too seriously. New York: Free Press. Happiness also has an adaptive function. So not all of what great thinkers say is right) Aristotle rejects a moving earth for two reasons. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/15-secrets-to-have-a-happy-family. In the modern era, happiness is something we take for granted. Once you can accept that, you’ll be more capable of seeing the good things that are right there in front of you. Whole countries can flourish too – according to research, nations that are rated as happier also score more highly on generalized trust, volunteerism and democratic attitudes (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). Happy people have better social and work relationships (Conkle, 2008). In this last quote we can see another important feature of Aristotle's theory: the link between the concepts of happiness and virtue. These individuals reported their level of happiness and were subsequently asked whether they had experienced a ‘bad life event’ (which was defined as bereavement or illness in the family) in the last two years. The key components of subjective well-being are: These four components have featured in philosophical material on happiness since ancient times. This research found that many personality factors – extraversion, neuroticism – as well as self-esteem, optimism, trust, agreeableness, repressive defensiveness, a desire for control, and hardiness all play a part in how happy a person is. He believed that eudaimonia was not simply virtue, nor pleasure, but rather it was the exercise of virtue. Many of us spend a lot of time with our families. A state of real happiness is also reflected by a person having an understanding of the transience of life (Puff, 2018). This will all be explained shortly. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. What makes a life good? Like hedonism, desire theory can explain why an ice-cream cone is preferable to a poke in the eye. Hedonism is, to put it simply, the pursuit of pleasure as the only intrinsic good (Waterman, 1993). Happiness leads to better health. I have never understood why people can’t be tolerant of the views of others when it comes to subjective opinions. Indeed, people who are lonely have an unmet need to belong (Mellor, Stokes, Firth, Hayashi & Cummins, 2008). Happiness for the individual, happiness for the majority, happiness for nature. 2532 Words 11 Pages. It has been suggested that the link between positive mood and work appears to be mediated by intrinsic motivation (that is, performing a task due to internal inspiration rather than external reasons) (Oswald et al., 2009). Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-ways-to-increase-your-happiness. Aristotle’s views on happiness are likely different from your viewpoint. Include the following: Explain the Bhutanese views on happiness. Whilst being happy is certainly not the only goal in life, nonetheless, it is necessary for a good life (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). There are a few features that characterize ‘true’ (or real) happiness. ‘Ideal’ happiness implies a way of being that is complete, lasting and altogether perfect… probably outside of anyone’s reach! Having friends and social relationships has been shown to be a leading cause of happiness. Aristotle’s very mistaken laws or believes about the subject, indirectly had a genius condemned. Thus, if happiness is ‘a thing’ how is it measured? Happiness is also associated with better performance in professional life/work. Having a child? We can, to a certain extent, determine how happy we feel. Amabile et al. But to be happy, it is not sufficient merely to be good. Include the following: Explain the Bhutanese views on happiness. Finally, another aspect of real happiness is an appreciation of the people in an individual’s life. All rights reserved. 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