Two philosophical problems in the study of happiness


Authors
Dan Haybron
Saint Louis University
Abstract
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)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 49,066
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Good in Happiness.Jonathan Phillips, Sven Nyholm & Shen-yi Liao - 2014 - In Tania Lombrozo, Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. pp. 253–293.
Like a Stone: A Happy Death and the Search for Knowledge.Andrew Gibbons - 2013 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 45 (11):1092-1103.
Is It Possible to Measure Happiness?: The Argument From Measurability.Erik Angner - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):221-240.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Happiness.Dan Haybron - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
"Happiness" and Economics.Mark Chekola - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 5:175-180.
Happiness and Pleasure.Daniel M. Haybron - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):501-528.
The Long Slide to Happiness.Richard Smith - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (3-4):559-573.
What is This Thing Called Happiness?Fred Feldman - 2010 - Oxford University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
61 ( #148,951 of 2,311,187 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature