Keywords: eudaimonia philosophy of happiness and wellbeing hedonism happyness preference satisfaction theory

KMT 2018 nr 4 Download PDF

Having or Being? Happiness and the Structure of Human Life

Cite: , Having or Being? Happiness and the Structure of Human Life, "Kultura - Media - Teologia", 2018( 35) nr 4, s. 24-38.

DOI: 10.21697/kmt.35.2

The article identifies and discusses two contrasting views of happiness. There has been a strong tendency in philosophy, psychology and the social sciences to think of happiness as the possession of certain goods, be it pleasurable experiences, satisfied desires or personal traits or achievements. I argue that while this way of thinking about happiness is natural and to some extent inescapable, it clashes with the still more intuitive, but theoretically underdeveloped, notion that happiness depends on the way lives as a whole are lived or play out. I try to explicate this more holistic and dynamic notion of happiness and to motivate it by considering cases in which structural or contextual features seem to matter to happiness, while also recognizing the possible limitations of such an approach.

About authors

Søren Harnow Klausen

ORCID: 0000-0002-2650-1861

Søren Harnow Klausen is professor of philosophy at the University of Southern Denmark. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Tübingen, Germany, where he has also been an Alexander-von-Humboldt research fellow. He is currently head of the re- search program Values, Welfare and Health Communication, and leader of the research project Elderly Welfare and Alcohol – A Tricky Cocktail, funded by the VELUX foundation. He has published in epistemology, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, value theory, welfare and happiness studies, philosophy of education and philosophy of literature.
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