Analysis Of Mark Kingwell's In Pursuit Of Happiness

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The fact that happiness is a state of well-being pursued by humans since the beginning of humanity is not new. Since the ancient Greek philosophers, happiness has always been a goal for people. However, the definition of happiness is still subjective and controversial as Mark Kingwell, an award-winning social critic, essayist, and professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, presents in his article “In pursuit of Happiness." The author begins to build his credibility by calling everyday facts and emotions, also by citing philosophers, researchers, and other authors. Using the sources effectively in a persuasive piece, Kingwell demonstrates, through examples and science researches, the difficulty in defining happiness, which can result in unhappiness. In this article, Kingwell first relates happiness as a dubious concept and paradox that can hardly be defined in a single sentence. He continues to discuss unhappiness as a result of the insatiable pursuit of happiness. And finally, Kingwell demonstrates how scientists try to reduce happiness to a genetic factor. The science assumption makes happiness a biological pattern that can …show more content…

By including the dictionaries definitions, the author shows contradictory explanations for happiness. In addition, using common daily facts he demonstrates how people’s decisions are based on the happiness desire, which we can see by the following words: “… it is nonetheless implicit in our decisions and undertakings, the ordering principle or end of our human projects” (413). Also, Kingwell includes words from other writers, such as John Stuart Mill, Eric Hoffer, Nathaniel Hawthorne and John Ralston Saul, to emphasize the point that the excessive pursuit of happiness causes unhappiness, which makes its definition even more confusing and

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