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date: 17 October 2021

p. 142. What is happiness?locked

p. 142. What is happiness?locked

  • Daniel M. Haybron


How can we define happiness? We could say, to be happy is to have a favourable emotional condition. Is this a good definition? ‘What is happiness?’ suggests that this provides a useful starting point to a study of what happiness is, although there are alternatives available. Happiness can be divided into three elements: a state of attunement (feeling safe and secure), engagement with a situation (enjoying activities), and an endorsement of life (feeling that life is positively good). Tranquillity could be argued as the cornerstone of happiness. To complicate the picture, it seems that happiness includes not just experienced emotions and moods, but the nonconscious aspects of our emotional condition as well.

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