Two philosophical problems in the study of happiness
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In this paper I discuss two philosophical issues that hold special interest for empirical researchers studying happiness. The first issue concerns the question of how the psychological notion(s) of happiness invoked in empirical research relates to those traditionally employed by philosophers. The second concerns the question of how we ought to conceive of happiness, understood as a purely psychological phenomenon. With respect to the first, I argue that ‘happiness’, as used in the philosophical literature, has three importantly different senses that are often confused. Empirical research on happiness concerns only one of these senses, and serious misunderstandings about the significance of empirical results can arise from such confusion. I then argue that the second question is indeed philosophical and that, in order to understand the nature of (what I call) psychological happiness, we need first to determine what a theory of happiness is supposed to do: what are our theoretical and practical interests in the notion of happiness? I sketch an example of how such an inquiry might proceed, and argue that this approach can shed more light on the nature and significance of happiness (and related mental states) than traditional philosophical methods.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Fred Feldman (2008). Whole Life Satisfaction Concepts of Happiness. Theoria 74 (3):219-238.
Laura Sizer (2010). Good and Good for You: An Affect Theory of Happiness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (1):133-163.
Erik Angner (2013). Is Empirical Research Relevant to Philosophical Conclusions? Res Philosophica 90 (3):365-385.
Similar books and articles
Anthony Kenny (2006). Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Utility: Happiness in Philosophical and Economic Thought. Imprint Academic.
Richard Smith (2008). The Long Slide to Happiness. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (3-4):559-573.
Edoardo Zamuner (2008). “Face Value. Perception and Knowledge Others’ Happiness”. In Lisa Bortolotti (ed.), The Philosophy of Happiness. Palgrave.
Vivasvan Soni (2011). Mourning Happiness: Narrative and the Politics of Modernity. Cornell University Press.
Daniel M. Haybron (2001). Happiness and Pleasure. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):501-528.
Mark Chekola (2007). "Happiness" and Economics. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 5:175-180.
Dan Haybron (forthcoming). Happiness. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Daniel M. Haybron (2003). What Do We Want From a Theory of Happiness? Metaphilosophy 34 (3):305-329.
Fred Feldman (2010). What is This Thing Called Happiness? Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads61 ( #24,218 of 1,098,884 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?