Unruly Happiness In Mark Kingwell’s excerpt, “In Pursuit of Happiness,” he presents information illustrating the challenge of defining happiness. Kingwell utilizes evidence and support from philosophers, authors, and scientists to supply readers with various perspectives on the pursuit of happiness. By the end of the excerpt, Kingwell provides information about happiness, unhappiness, and concludes with his own thoughts about the failing hunt for the definition of happiness, but he never truly expresses his personal opinion about what he believes is the definition of happiness. Many strive to define happiness, but no one has described it sufficiently.
In Mark Kingwell’s excerpt, “In Pursuit of Happiness,” he discusses the challenge of defining happiness. This work serves to inform the audience on a topic they may never have considered while using evidence and support from philosophers, authors, and even scientists to contribute to various viewpoints on the subject. At the end of the excerpt, Kingwell discusses happiness, even unhappiness, and concludes with his own opinions on the subject. Since the beginning of human existence, people have tried to define happiness, but no one has described it sufficiently, which means the search continues.
In his article "In Pursuit of Happiness: Better Living from Plato to Prozac," Mark Kingwell describes how there has been many debates on the meaning of happiness for many years yet still a singular, justifiable definition eludes society. The pursuit to define and understand happiness has invited several debates, questions, arguments, and suggestions alike. In 1996, a hand full of genetic and behavioral studies suggest evidence that one’s achievable degree of happiness is genetically decided, with evidences showing that no achievement will change your happiness, you are either happy or you’re not. Some studies demonstrated a correlation between dopamine levels in the brain and expressions of personal satisfaction, while others indicated that
Arguably, the happier an individual is, the better the quality of their life, and the better off they are. But despite this, there are people who will even argue that lower levels of happiness are the best because you maintain the ability to progress in life and your motivation is still present. Although many people will only see two sides to this argument, there is a totally different view that provides the optimal quality of life and the most beneficial outcome in the big picture; and that is moderate happiness. Cliff Oxford’s essay “High Performance Happy” evaluates the effect that an individual’s happiness has on their beneficiality to society and how you should always strive to be the happiest you can be. Oxford’s main point is that
This is achieved through adding a sense of realism as to how happiness should be experienced. Thus, it provides tangible means for people to grasp an abstract concept such as happiness. As a result, this enables her to persuade readers to take up her advice. For example, she draws links between the need to experience happiness with others through studies and real-life evidence regarding the lack of the time spent with others e.g., only 24 hours a year spent socialising (Whippman, 2017). This shows us the real-life implication of our actions in search of isolated happiness which has caused an unintended outcome on us as we are supposed to share joyous moments together.
The Pursuit of Happiness It is a fundamental aspect of society and of mankind that individuals seek their own happiness. Almost every aspect of life centres on the importance of self-fulfillment, and throughout history, the often selfish nature of man loans itself to the idea that life is about pursuing one’s own happiness. In a perfect world, the search for satisfaction in life would go unheeded, and every man would come to realize a perfect sense of self. Unfortunately, there are often many challenges and compromising aspects of society that inhibit individuals from achieving happiness.
The pursuit of happiness is defined as “the fundamental right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy.” The ability to find happiness is a right guaranteed to all citizens in the United States, yet many countries do not possess the same rights as America and instead are plagued by corruption. Procuring contentment is a difficult journey for all people, but those who do not have access to knowledge will find it to be a much more daunting task. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Montag’s struggle to find joy under an oppressive regime required him to challenge his knowledge in a way he never truly had before. Happiness is analyzed constantly in the real world as well, and the philosophers and scientists who study it consistently link it to knowledge, as shown in the articles by Main, Socrates and in the article about Individualism.
What Happiness Is In the essay “What Happiness Is,” Eduardo Porter states that happiness is a slippery concept. He believes that happiness doesn’t have a specific definition, it means different things to each person. In the essay happiness is broken down into 3 parts: satisfaction, positive feelings, and the absence of negative feelings. Porter says that most people think that money and economic stability will bring them happiness and because of that they will push themselves to do better at their jobs.
The pursuit of happiness was something I never gave much thought to until it was brought up this year. Reflecting back over this past school year I can honestly say that I not only learned more about what the pursuit of happiness is as a whole, but also how it applies in my personal life. I think it is fair to say that different things make us humans happy. Just a small example, it may make you very happy when your favorite sports team wins, and for someone else they could care less. It may make you very happy if it is sunny and 75 outside, but to some people that isn’t something that makes them happy. Those are just small examples of things that can make someone happy. I think the pursuit of happiness is something way deeper than that, and that is what I came to realize over the course of this year. To me, happiness doesn’t come from the amount of money you have or how successful you are, but rather it comes from the relationships you build here on Earth. The American Literature we explored throughout the school year, make that clear to me.
In today’s society, people achieve happiness through interaction with others, but in Ray Bradbury’s dystopian Novel, Fahrenheit 451, his characters believe that they need technology to enjoy their lives. People’s main priority is to be happy and have a successful life. They don’t want to have to worry about anything and just enjoy themselves. “‘You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, what do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right? Well, aren’t they?’” (Bradbury 56). All people want in life is to be happy. They want to be untroubled and not have to stress about what’s going on in the real world. They think that technology will
In the article “Stop Trying to be Happy,” Mark Manson states that nowadays, people are striving so hard to be happy, while happiness is something in their self. However, most of them do not realize that when they do something they like, that is not a happiness, it just a pleasure. The problem why people are unhappy is, they always do something on other people expectations, not struggle to reach their expectation. Moreover, negative emotion is important to release unnecessary thing in our self, it keeps a happiness steady. Most people, always do something that is hard for themselves, but they keep try to do it, even they are fail. That kind of action makes them become their ideal selves, it is the effort to reach their expectation to get happy.
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the concept of happiness is introduced as the ultimate good one can achieve in life as well as the ultimate goal of human existence. As Aristotle goes on to further define happiness, one can see that his concept is much different from the 21st-century view. Aristotelian happiness can be achieved through choosing to live the contemplative life, which would naturally encompass moralistic virtue. This differs significantly from the modern view of happiness, which is heavily reliant on material goods. To a person in the 21st-century, happiness is simply an emotional byproduct one experiences as a result of acquiring material goods.
As Shadyac explains, today many people are searching for happiness in all the wrong places. Some are searching for happiness by material objects, money, and approval from others. However these individuals are not aiming for something that will truly give them happiness. According to Aristotle, happiness is the “meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim, and end of human existence.”
A collection of philosophical, religious, psychological and biological approaches had attempted to define happiness and analyze its connections. Researchers have found that about 50% of people happiness depends on our genes, based on studies of identical twins, whose happiness was 50% correlated even when growing up in different houses. About 10% to 15% is a result of various measurable life circumstances variables, such as socioeconomic status, marital status, health, income, and others. The remaining 40% is a combination of intentional factors and the results of actions that individuals deliberately engage in to become happier. Studies have also found that most of us are born with a fixed “set point” of happiness that we fall in throughout our lives.