Spring 2011 Happiness Class Class Notes 1

From Alfino
Jump to: navigation, search

Return to Happiness


This was our introductory class, so most of the time was spent on course mechanics.

We did discuss a few points about philosophical method and we looked at the distinction between State Happiness and Life Happiness, which we'll see again in the happiness research as the difference between Affect and Life Satisfaction.


Classical Models

Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, Book 1

  • hierarchy of arts, chief good chosen for its own sake, politics the master art.
  • the lives of pleasure, honor (political), and contemplative compared.
  • note implicit criteria for happiness: p. 3 good not easily taken from us.
  • mere possession of virture not enough for happiness? why?
  • Section 6 has a digression on Plato's theory of forms -- wants to argue against "form of the good" - note consequence for happiness.
  • Section 7: argument turns toward the connection of the good with "ends" (telos) and final ends, that for which all else is done.
  • Search for telos of man. Working from our "rational psychology" (bot of p. 6). "human good turns out to be activity of soul in accordance with virtue.
  • Aristotle's list: (in addition to fulfilling your function, happiness includes:) friends, power, good birth, good children, beauty, prosperity, fortune. Note: what problem does this list solve in A's theory?
  • Note how A thinks of true happiness as a "state change" (p. 9, bot) and as divine (p. 11). relates to topic in McMahon p. 49 -- ultimately the contemplative life is most blessed and happiest.

McMahon, Classical Models, ch.1

  • major historical theme in Greek thought: movement from recognition of happiness (and celebration of it) as a condition, to consideration of our power to realize it through careful thought and discipline.
  • note in the discussion of Dionysian ritual and Symposium
  • presence of "robust hedonism" in culture of happiness.
  • fundamental opposition of Platonic thought to pleasures of the body as a sig. component of happiness.
  • Surgery for the Soul -- transition to Hellenistic schools (post-Socratic)
  • Zeno for Stoicism
  • Epicurus for Epicureanism
  • Key points: Concept of philosophy as therapeutic and engaging emotions and cognition; working out of problem of "sufficiency of virtue" and "theory of pleasure."

Small Group Work

Develop conjectures, arguments, and lines of reasoning for the following Aristotelian (and broadly classical) idea:

If happiness is real, then its possession by an individual involves a relatively permanent change such that it is not easily lost.

Evaluate this Aristotelian idea:

Your nature (your function) will guide you toward happiness.

Contemporary Research

Haidt, Happiness Hypothesis, ch. 5

  • Major theme -- happiness as internal or external pursuit.
  • Buddha and Epictetus take a relatively "internal" path. Haidt suggests research shows this to be somewhat extreme -- there are things to strive for outside of yourself, happiness in the journey ("progress principle") "Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing."
  • Haidt's list of happiness makers and unmakers(correlates and major causes)
  • Adaptation, hedonic treadmill, set point theory, Bob and Mary comparison: relationship, meaningfulness. Bob's list more susceptible to adaptation. understanding lack of adaptation for cosmetic surgery. what's shallow vs. what matters.
  • from 92f: Noise, Commuting, Shame, conflict,
  • Happiness Formula
  • H = Set point + Conditions + Voluntary action
  • "It is vain to say that human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it." (Charlotte Bronte, 1847)
  • Complicating factors
  • Flow and Seligman's strengths test www.authentichappiness.org
  • Comparisons and biases.
  • Schwartz maximizers and satisficers.

Schimmack, "The Structure of SWB"

  • Review basic diagram on p. 98.
  • bottom up vs. top down --
  • problems of measurement -- "shared method variance"
  • more sophisticated model -- domain importance
  • What could explain variance in LS besides DS?
  • Positive illusions
  • Money
  • "direct evidence" of bottom up theory -- 106
  • PA and NA
  • structural, causal, and momentary

Small Group Work

If Haidt and Schimmack are roughly right in their accounts of happiness and the structure of subjective well-being, then what sorts of activities and choices start to look more or less important in the pursuit of happiness?


The Shape of Happiness

This week we'll use our additional reading on major causes and correlates of happiness (don't forget Haidt and Schimmack!) to infer and speculate about the general "shape" of happiness. Another way to get at this is to ask, "What "must" human happiness be like given some of the patterns of its occurence?" We'll try to move from the theorizing of the psychometricians about the measurement validity and causation to larger structures about which we'll develop more knowledge and reflection in the coming weeks.

Argyle, Causes and Correlates of Happiness

  • Age
  • Education
  • Social Status
  • Income
  • Marriage
  • Ethnicity
  • Employment
  • Leisure
  • Religion
  • Life Events

Synopsis by major factor:

  • Age
  • The older are slightly happier, notably in postive affect. Some evidence that women become less happy with age. In assessing causality, we might need to acknowledge a cohort effect (older people are those who survive, hence not nec. representative of a sampling of all age groups).
  • Old people could have lower expectations, and hence their greater self-reported happiness might not be comparable to a younger person's self-reported happiness.
  • Puzzle: objective conditions are worse for old people (health, depression and lonliness!), yet they are more satisfied. (Neural degeneration has got to be on the table as a hypothesis.)
  • Education
  • The educated are slightly happier. Effect weak in US. Data suggest the education effect is greater in poorer countries. Control for income and job status effects and there is still a slight effect from education. [From personal achievement?] But income and job status account for most of the education effect.
  • Social Status
  • About twice the effect of education or age, but half of the effect is from job status. Greater effect for stratified societies. [Effect of being a professor in Italy, for example.]
  • Argyle suggest the causal mechanisms are straightforward. Lots of positive life indicators are clustered with social class. "s? The overall effect, including .the effect of income and education, is easy to ex¬plain: there is a multiple effect of better jobs,housing, relationships, and leisure. We show later that there are massive class differences in leisure—middle-class individuals engage in much more active leisure, belong to twice as many clubs, take much more exercise, take more holidays and outings, read more, have more social life, and pursue more hobbies. Working-class people just watch more television." 356
  • Income
  • Average correlation of .17 across studies. See chart on p. 356 -- curvilinear, with slight upward tail at highest incomes. (intriguing)
  • Steep relation of income from poverty to material sufficiency.
  • Diener found a stronger correlation when using multiple income measures (such and GNP, purcasing power indexes, etc.)
  • Famous Myers and Diener 1996 study: "In the United States, aver-age personal income has risen from $4,000 in1970 to $16,000 in 1990 (in 1990 dollars), but there has been no change in average happiness or satisfaction." Some evidence that happiness is sensitive to economic downturns (Belgium), some evidence of variation in strength of effect across culture.
  • Lottery winner studies may not be a good way to test income effects since you get lots of disruptions with winning the lottery.
  • Michalo's "goal achievement gap model" p. 358: "whereby happiness is said to be due to the gap between aspirations and achievements and this gap is due to comparisons with both "average folks" and one's own past life (see figure 18.3).
Other Resources:
  • Kahneman and Deaton, "High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being"
  • Graham, et. al, "The Easterlin Paradox and Other Paradoxes: Why both sides of the Debate May be Correct"
  • Marriage
  • Average effect from meta-analysis of .14. Stronger effects for young. Does more for women than men, though stronger effect on male health.
  • Causal model: Married people have higher social well being indicators (mental and physical health). These indicators are independent factors for happiness. Marriage is a source of emotional and material support. Married people just take better care of themselves. Men might benefit from emotional support more since women provide that to male spouses more than males? (differently?)
  • Effects of marriage has a life-stage dimemsion to them. (figuure 18.4) Having children has a small effect.
  • Reverse causation is a consideration, but hard to support since 90% of people get married.
  • Ethnicity
  • Widely confirmed studies show that average happiness for US African Americans is lower than for US whites.
  • Mostly accounted for by income, education, and job status.
  • Interestingly, African American children enjoy higher self-esteem than white kids.
  • Employment
  • Studies of unemployed and retired help isolate effects.
  • Unemployed sig less happy: ";s. The unemployed in nearly all countries are much less happy than those at work. Inglehart (1990) found that 61 percent of the unemployed were satisfied, compared with78 percent of manual workers."
  • Effects greater during high employment.
  • The retired are happier on average than those at work (.25 standard dev). Notes sensitivity to retirment income.
  • Causal model: income and self-esteem account for most of effect.
  • Leisure
  • Relatively strong correlation: .2 in meta-studies.
  • Leisure effects observed in lots of contexts (social relations from work, adolescent leisure habits, even a short walk. Sport and exercise include both social effects and release of endorphins.
  • Flow is a factor. Comparisons of high engagement and high apathy (tv) leisure activities.
  • Religion
  • The strength of religion on happiness is positive, sensitive to church attendance, strength of commitment, related to meaningfulness and sense of purpose (an independent variable).
  • Reverse causation: Are happier people more likely to be religious?
  • Causal model: Religion works through social support, increasing esteem and meaningfulness.
  • Kirpatrick 1992 study: self-reported relationship with God has similar effects as other relationships.
  • Churchgoers are healthier.
  • Life events and activities (especially on affect)
  • "' A study in fiveEu European countries found that the main causes of joy were said to be relationships with friends, the basic pleasures of food,drink, and sex, and success experiences (Scherer etal. 1986)."..."Frequency of sexual intercourse also correlates with happiness,as does satisfaction with sex life, being in love, and frequency of interaction with spouse, but having liberal sexual attitudes has a negative relationship." "Experiments with drugs show that alcohol, in modest doses, has the greatest effects on positive mood."

Diener and Suh, National Differences in SWB

With this article, income is once again highlighted as a factor, but now in the context of cross nation comparisons. The major "shape" issue here is, "How does culture and national grouping interact with perceptions and judgements of happiness?
After accounting for measurement and methodological issues, there are real and substantive differences in well-being across nations. While wealthier nations are generally happier, there are complexities to the causal model. National income correlates with non-economic goods such as rights, equality, fulfillment of basic needs, and individualism. These factors have effects on both SWB and income that have not been isolated.
Individualism correlates with higher reported SWB, but also higher suicide rates. Collectivists may be working with a different model of happiness or just a different attitude about its importance. (good place to mention other research)
Different models for explaining cultural differences are presented: innate needs approach, theory of goal striving, models of emotional socialization, and genetic explanations.
  • Other resources:
  • Eunkook Suh, "Self, the Hyphen between Culture and Subjective Well-Being
  • Diener and Oishi, "Money and Happiness: Income and Subjective Well-being across Nations"

Typical Image for the Easterlin Paradox

Typical Image for Myers Diener / Easterlin Paradox --from Layard, Happiness


During the next two weeks, we'll be looking at several influential ancient philosophies and religions in terms of their thought on happiness. It might be helpful for us to view our selves partly as anthropologists, and ask how each philosophy or religious under study provides a personal and social strategy for achieving happiness. Even in the case of strategies that depend upon religious faith, we can still ask how the commitments of that point of view work for the individual and the group.

What if anything, can be borrowed from these philosophies and relgions? At what point is the borrowing philosophical as opposed to religious? When does it matter?

Early to Medieval Christian Conceptions of Happiness

  • Roman cultural decadance!
  • Roman thought on living well: Horace
  • "Asher" and "makarios" and "felicita" -- Hellenizing the judaic term, but not Romanizing it. Beatitudes.
  • St. Perpetua and Felicitas -- Greek/Judaic advice to avoid suffering is radically reversed in Christian injunction to suffer with others.
p. 95 McMahon: comparisons of Christian / Classical versions of happiness: "Whereas in the classical account, happiness encompassed the span of a lifetime, Christian beatitude was without end. And whereas classical happiness remained a comparatively cerebral affair—cool, deliberative, rational— Christian happiness was unabashedly sensual in its imagined ecstasies. The Stoics had suggested that the happy man could be happy even on the rack, happy in spite of sutrermg. Christianity took this a step further, proposing that happiness was not just impervious to pain, but its direct outcome and consequence. "
  • Augustine - Happiness as experience of God in the soul, resisting the Pelagians
  • 9th - 13th centuries - John the Scot (815-877) -- develops theme of presence of God as source of joy.
  • Pseudo-Dionysius and mystical theology -- thought, in 9th cent to be a disciple of Paul's "Dionysius the Areopagite," but really a 6th century Syrian.
  • Aquinas and the distinction between perfect and imperfect happiness

Yoga Philosophy

Miller on Patanjali's Yoga

  • "The aim of yoga is to eliminate the control that material nature exerts over the human spirit, to rediscover through introspective practice what the poet T. S. Eliot called the "still point of the turning world." This is a state of perfect equilibrium and absolute spiritual calm, an interior refuge in the chaos of worldly existence. In the view of Patanjali, yogic practice can break habitual ways of thinking and acting that bind one to the corruptions of everyday life."
  • Patanjali's method - analysis of thought process (citta), freedom from uncontrollable thought, p. 15. succinct presentation of how "turnings of thought" are generated, seeds again, "In Patanjali's analysis, the aggregate of impressions that expresses itself in thought (citta) and action (karma) also accounts for subconscious predispositions that condition the character and behavior of an individual through many reincarnations. Thought and action thus become involved in an endless round of reciprocal causality. Actions create memory traces, which fuel the mental processes and are stored in memory, which endures through many rebirths."

Farhi on the Brahmavihara

5 kleshas:

1. Avidha: Ignorance of our eternal nature

2. Astnita: Seeing oneself as separate and divided from the rest ofthe world

3. Raga: Attraction and attachment to impermanent things

4. Dvesha: Aversion to the unpleasant

5. Abhinivesha: Clinging to life because we fail to perceive theseamless continuity of consciousness, which cannot be brokenby death (Yoga-Sutra 2.3)

Brahmahivara -- attitudes

cultivation on the brahmahivara are seen as preparatory to overcoming the 5 kleshas

1. Friendliness toward the joyful

2. Compassion for those who are suffering

3. Celebrating the good in others

4. Remaining impartial to the faults and imperfections of others(Yoga-Sutra 1.33)

Buddhism on Happiness

Siderits on the Basics of Buddhism

  • 4 Noble Truths -
  • doctrine of dependent origination
  • Impermanence of the self
  • Paradox of Liberation

Pali Canon -- Mindfulness

  • How does mindfulness help with the process of liberation?


Stoicism and Epicureanism as Happiness Therapies

Comparison of philosophies

Field of Philosophy Stoicism - Epictetus - Enchiridion Epicureanism - Epicurus - Letter to Menoeceus, et al
Metaphysics All reality corporeal. Intelligence is irreducible and real. Seen in order. Belief in rationality of universe; wholism Democritean atomism; only evidence for material objects, but recognition of idea of gods.
Theology Pantheism - theos/matter, theos in all life, in reason, rationality in nature. Older stoicism believed in cyclical conflagration. If there are gods, they aren't concerned about us. No worry of retribution.
Teleology Virtue (care of the hegimonikon) is the end of life and should satisfy the demand for happiness. Pleasure is the good. Virture is instrumental in helping us understand how to pursue pleasure and a condition for successful attainment of pleasure in life. Experience of pleasure teaches us that there are two kinds, kinetic and katastematic, and of many particular things about pleasure, including its adapatation, the complexity of a life devoted to physical pleasure, etc.

Issues in Stoicism:

  • Quietism -- Does Stoicism promote withdrawl from affairs?
  • Commitment to the rationality of creation. Compelling argument on rational grounds, yet somehow unsatisfying to be told that the divine is an impersonal force of creation and destruction.
  • The independence of the hegemonikon (rational ruling principle in us)

Issues in Epicureanism:

  • Slacker's philosophy?
  • Two kinds of pleasures: kinetic and katastematic (Lots of ancient criticism of this.)
  • Quietism
  • Sensitive to contemporary research on hedonic adaptation.

Comparison of Stoic/Epicurean therapies

  1. Both emphasize the recalibration of our emotions in light of empirical experience and reflection.
  2. Both regard virtue as essential to realizing the good life and such happiness as we should want. Note different place of virture in teleology of each.
  3. Both have reason for claiming to have "conquered death" --
  4. Both offer competing analyses of desire --
  5. Stoics commit to a much stronger "faith" or confidence in the rationality of the cosmos.
  6. Epicureanism might be thought of as motivated by a more "conservative" epistemology. While both are broadly empirical, Epicurean, true to its atomism, focuses more on the individual and his "state". Stoics, perhaps because they accept the irreducibility of the rational, think of themselves as connected to something greater than themselves. That's what makes offering the Emperor your neck so much fun!

Additional therapeutic considerations from Irvine

  • Negative Visualization -- consideration and debate about its effects.
  • Trichotomy of Control -- standing possibility of internalizing goals for ends that are "mixed" (partly in our control).

Small Group Work

In your groups this week, I'd like you to focus on the therapeutic advice of stoics and epicureans. What is the analysis of desire, pleasure in each and the relationship of each to virture. What does each school tell me I ought to be able to do, as a matter of self-training? Can we reorient our selves toward our desire in the way that is prescribed? Would it make you happier. Get lots of concrete examples into the discussion. Try to calibrate the "strength" of principles you may want to borrow.


Renaissance and Enlightenment Views of Happiness

McMahon Chs. 3-4

Chapter 3: From Heaven to Earth

  • Attitude of contemptus mundi -- Thomas a Kempis
  • revival of studia humanitas
  • 1463: Pico -- Dignity of Man --
  • p. 144-145: Proteus; point on 146: worldliness didn't preclude otherworldiness as well.
  • "natural felicity" in Pico follows Aristotle. Similar themes found in diverse authors: Ficino, Savatati, Bruni.
  • revival of ancient themes like A's notion of fortune as important; also revival of Epicurus in Manetti, emphasis on human purposes in Morandi 152.


  • revival seen also in images of Felicitas Publica -- p. 153.
  • Bronzino's Allegory of Happiness (cosmological image, also an endorsement of Tuscan prosperity)
  • Mona Lisa
  • revival of theory of humours. Discussion of the value of melancholgy -- Ficino, also Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.
  • Lorenzo Valla, 1431, On Pleasure. Note connection back to Pseudo-Dionysius -- Valla proved it to be pseudo. "Valla's heaven…" p. 162.
  • Erasmus, Praise of Folly, dedication, p. 163.

Reformation: Protestantism and Happiness

  • Luther, 1534-Letter to prince on cheering up.. own problems with melancholy. "not a sin to be happy, because of sin we're not"
  • 1517: 95 Theses, 1519: working on doctrine of "jusification by faith" -- read p. 168. "killing the Old Adam"
  • Protestant approach to scripture, reduces dist between sacred and profane.
  • Luther abandoned clerical celebacy for married life. Christians should be merry p. 172.
  • Calvin: ""When the favor of God breathesupon us," Calvin insisted, there is nothing, whether poverty, misery.exile, contempt, imprisonment, or ignominy, that "is not conduciveto our happiness. "

British Enlightenment: Locke

Locke, 1652, Charles execution in 1649, politics of day complex, often couched in language of happiness.
  • Essay Concerning Human Understanding: 1689: tabula rasa; point for Happiness studies is that there's no sin.
  • The Reasonableness of Christianity -- religion is reasonable, heaven a "good bargain"
  • p. 184: major point: Locke conceives of a mulitplicity of paths to happiness --- "Since the ancient Israelites had taken up the road to Canaan, since the Greeks had set out toward the highest good, since Christ had proclaimed, "I am the way," happiness in the West had only ever been conceived as a single journey to a single end."
  • Hobbes: happiness as continual desire/satisfaction.
  • For whatever else might be said, Locke legitimated the search for happiness in this life, grounding it in science, human impulse, and divine order. Whereas in the cosmos envisioned by the humanists and their Protestant successors, men and women were ultimately to perfect happiness by the motive power of Grace, in Locke's Newtonian system, human beings were pulled along by their ownweight. 185

Chapter 4: Self-Evident Truths

  • Covers rise of Enlightenment effort to realize conditions of happiness on Earth.
  • Huet's search for Eden, "Earthly paradise," he quipped, mocking Huet, "is where I am."
  • Public Gardens built all over Europe.
  • Alexander Pope's celebration of happiness 200, Diderot, idea of a "right to happiness"; increasing wealth and standards of living in 18th century. 1st time humans could consider question of happiness this way.
  • Rise of commercialism among wealthy (recalls Hobbesian model).
  • Votaire, commenting on Lisbon earthquake, hits on Sunday. 210. Life is chance.
  • Vico, "new science of man and society". -- extension of control through science to human well-being. Birth of social sciences, Bentham coming.
  • Hutcheson -- natural positive sentiments.
  • Some early formulas of happiness 213; indices of bonheur for Chastellux.
  • Happiness associated with progress.
  • Bentham, 1815, two masters, table of pleasure and pain. Locke's "diversity of paths" to happiness, becomes more subjective under Bentham.

Enlightenment Hedonism

  • Julien Offray de la Mettrie. 18th cent. Hedonism; materialist; 1709 -- in trouble, on the run, book being burned,
  • Meat theory of persons. "Nature employed the same dough for both man and animals, varying only the leaven."
  • How can enlightenment meet Mettrie's challenge? 231 and ff: two reponses: "greatest good for "greatest number"" and, two, virtue might maximize pleasure.
  • De Sade; "dialogue"
  • Rousseau 1750: "What then was this happiness." Rousseau asked. "Wherein lay this great contentment." 1s. It was rather a state of perfect wholeness and plenitude of being in which Rousseau felt himself "self-sufficient like God," a state…" Island images, 234, recur in west. Perfection as a state of being. "The happiness for which my soul longs," Rousseau counters, "is not made up of fleeting moments, but of a single and lasting state." 237
  • Note Rousseau theory of human nature, noble savage, effect of civ. Mixed.
  • 238: Note legacy: ":. Modern society's conquest of nature, its perfection ofcritical reason and scientific understanding, its staggering productivecapacities and consequent material prosperity, its dispelling of illu-sions—the very things that made human happiness possible accord-ing to the Enlightenment dream at the same time militated againstit, severing man from his fellow man, from the worid, and from him-self. "
  • "Thus did Rousseau reject an element of religious longing into theEnlightenment pursuit—a longing, that is, for what life itself couldnot deliver on its own, but which drew us forward nonetheless. r>J(" 244
  • Samuel Johnson poem in 1749 "Vanity of human wishes"; 1776: major sceptic about happiness -- Johnson's scepticism seems old fashion, but relates to the critique of Rousseau' ; 1749: History of Rasselas -- story of an unsuccessful search for happiness -- british "less unhappy" than African character, but still not happy -- Johnson gives a less religious version of the reminder of the "fallen state" of our nature.
  • Claims this the the time of the birth of the "happy ending" in stories.
  • British utilitarian Priestly: "Happiness is in truth the only object of legislation of intrinsic value," but Johnson critical of idea that we're totally built for happiness or can achieve it. Johnson sensitive to paradox of world in which happiness is expected.

Gilbert, Stumbling onto Happiness 1-3

Chapter 1: Journey to Elsewhen

  • Importance of thinking about the future for humans.
  • Thesis p. 23: "We insist on steering our boats because we think we have a pretty good idea of where we should go, but the truth is that much of our steering is in vain not because the boat won't respond, and not because we can't find our destination, but because the future is fundamentally different than it appears through the prospectiscope."

Chapter 2: The View from in Here

  • Objectivity Issues
  • How can the twins be happy?
  • How reliable is our judgement from one minute to the next?
  • Interviewer substitution studies [1]
  • Happiness scales
  • Language squishing and Experience stretching

Chapter 3: Outside Looking In

  • How well do we know what we're feeling?
  • Capilano Bridge Study
  • Alexithymia
  • Law of Large Numbers


This week we're looking at love, especially in relation to happiness. To do that, we need to heighten our awareness of cultural/historical as well as scientific levels of description and explanation. You almost need a theory of love and a theory of culture to figure out where and how to locate love in your theory of happiness.

de Botton, Lovelessness

  • Two great love stories in our lives
  • "The second—the story of our quest for love from the world—is a more secret and shameful tale. "
  • Thesis: "The predominant impulse behind our desire to rise in the social hierarchy may be rooted not so much in the material goods we can accrue or the power we can wield as in the amount of love we stand to receive as a consequence of high status. "
  • (Also a study question): How important in social status? How easy is it to insulate one's pursuit of happiness from it?

Love -- Brooks, Haidt, and the Romantic Ideal

Brooks, "Social Animal"

  • Note theoretical claim: " Brain science helps fill the hole left by the atrophy of theology and philosophy.

A core finding of this work is that we are not primarily the products of our conscious thinking. The conscious mind gives us one way of making sense of our environment. But the unconscious mind gives us other, more supple ways. The cognitive revolution of the past thirty years provides a different perspective on our lives, one that emphasizes the relative importance of emotion over pure reason, social connections over individual choice, moral intuition over abstract logic, perceptiveness over I.Q. It allows us to tell a different sort of success story, an inner story to go along with the conventional surface one.

  • Juxtaposing the "chemistry of love" and the "culture of love" -- note connection bt. child-rearing emotional system and love emotional system.
  • We learn by imitating, not just by thinking.
  • Note statement from neuroscientist at the end: information theory and culture
  • p. 11 -- connects to de Botton -- search for social status may set some of the conditions for happiness.

Haidt, "Love and Attachments"

  • Attachment Theory
  • Harlow [2]
  • Bowlby -- orphans after WWI,
  • Ainsworth research on "Strange Situation"
  • Attachemnt theory: safety and exploration are competing goals that children pursue. This pursuit is affected by the style of their attachment to a maternal figure. As a theory of adult relationship, attachment theory treats the intimate partner as the object of attachment. Attachment theorist believe that styles of attachment are relevant to adult relationships as well and child relationships.
  • Evolutionary speculations
  • Why do we engage in pair bonding in the way we do (hiding signs of fertility and getting committment).
  • Evolutionary thesis: When our heads got bigger, we started to be born less developed, need for extended childhood, dependency, etc. Need for partner. Plausible that evolution would have adapted the attachment system from mom/child to adult romantic love.
  • Theory of passionate and companionate loves -- passionate love is a drug.
  • Critiques of philosophical and religious culture in West -- Plato's need to redeem love through knowledge (leaving the lover's body for the Forms), Stoic/Epicurean distrust of intimacy, Christian caritas (intense benevolence and good will) & agape (selfless spiritual love). [Could be a different purpose than need satisfaction.

McMahon -- Happiness in the 19th Century

Our primary goal for this reading is to understand how the concept of happiness develops in the 19th century. What unique cultural and philosophical circumstances might explain the diverse and radical currents of Romanticism.
Ideal of Romantic Love in "Sorrows of Young Werther"
  • Odes to Melancholy
  • 274: Referring to Napoleon: "e. His was the struggle of all who are born as heirs to the Enlightenment's self-evident truth—raised to believe that they are meant to be happy—and then haunted by the suspicion that the evidence of the world suggests otherwise. This was the Romantic conflict. The challenge was to overcome it, believing in joy and "happiness unthought of," even when one could not hear or see."
  • Schumann, Heinrich Heine, Jean-Paul Richter "weltschmerz", Goethe and The Sorrows of Young Werther 275, Schiller, Holderlin, "Zeitkrankheit"
  • Alfred de Musset: "'The maladie du Steele comes from two causes: the people who have passed through 1793 and 1814 carry two wounds in their heart. All that was, is no longer, and all that will be is not yet made. Do not search any farther for the secret of our ills."
  • Valorization of suffering produced an "anti-happiness" ideal -- If you're happy, you're not really experiencing life deeply. Can be seen as reaction to rationalist Enlightenment war on pain.
  • Odes to Joy:
  • Coleridge, "Dejection: An Ode", read bottom of p.285-286.
  • Blake and the valorization of child consciousness. Joy as connection.
  • Walt Whitman
  • Carlyle: there are higher states of happiness than the Enlightement ideal offers.
  • Wordsworth: Home at Grassmere: another example of the rural ideal of happiness. p. 291: joy in everyday experience.
  • Shelley: "Poetry is the record of the best and happiest momentsof the happiest and best minds," Shelley maintains. It spreads "sweetnews of kindred joy." 294. Salvation through art.
  • Klimt's Beethoveen Frieze