Who and What is Happy?

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Science and philosophy are the academic parents of the social sciences, which is interesting considering the current obsession with happiness. There’s always an updated study on what (or what doesn’t) make human beings happy, from the psychological/sociological perspective, always backed up with empirical evidence.

Often this mass of data is broken down for mass consumption in self-help books. But isn’t happiness an arbitrary concept? “Above all, there is the fundamental question: In which sense, if any, is happiness a proper goal of a human life?”

Philosophy professor, Gary Gutting will lead you down a road of philosophical ruminations about happiness, to contrast with the social science proclamations that have taken over the happiness dialogue.


Sam Riley is the Editorial Assistant at the Rumpus. Also, a humor enthusiast and science supporter. She currently resides in San Francisco, CA. More from this author →