Does Not Happiness Ruin Happiness?

887 Words Apr 4th, 2016 4 Pages
Does Acknowledging Happiness Ruin Happiness? Since the days of Aristotle, happiness was thought to have at least two aspects: hedonia (pleasure) and eudaimonia (a life well lived). In contemporary psychology, happiness is referred to as simply pleasure and meaning. Positive psychologists, such as Dr. Martin Seligman, have recently added one more distinct component to the definition of happiness: engagement. As referred to in Seligman’s book, Authentic Happiness, engagement refers to living a “good life” of work, family, friends and hobbies (Seligman). Psychologists trying to understand what influences happiness and its meaning disagree on one concrete answer. A prevalent speculation made by psychologists is that a person terminates his or her happiness the moment he or she acknowledges their happiness. Due to the alterations of what physiologists think makes a person happy, and the questioning of a person’s happiness, a person cannot acknowledge the moment he or she is happy without altering their happiness. In philosopher John Ralston Saul’s book, The Unconscious Civilization, he explains why what makes a person happy has changed, “As economic and social conditions have gradually spunk, happiness, with its twisted meaning at the ethical and legal Centre of our society, has seemed increasingly lugubrious and out of place” (Saul II). Saul further argues the desire of happiness today now speaks merely for materialistic comfort for one’s individual pleasure, hence changing…

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