What's Your Definition of Happiness - Essay Example

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This essay discusses a simple question, is one smiling because one is happy or is one happy because one is smiling? Does happiness come from within or from without? It analyses happiness through the appearance of their assessments of subjective well-being…
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Whats Your Definition of Happiness
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Download file to see previous pages As I take it, then, well-being is synonymous with persons own good, welfare, or interest. To say that something contributes to one's well-being is simply to say that it is in one's interest, that it is good for one, or that it makes one's life go better. Understood as such, well-being is an inherently evaluative concept: when we say that something promotes one's welfare, we ascribe a certain type of value to that thing. In particular, we identify it as having prudential value (Silverstein, 2000, p. 279)
Ascribing values to objects is certainly an interpretive process, but what has value, the object or the perceiver’s interpretation of the object. One would have to posit that the object is inherently valueless other than the value it may have to itself. Myers and Diener have found in their research that although money has been said to buy happiness, its value can often be short-lived:
Wealth, it seems, is like health: its absence can breed misery, yet having it is no guarantee of happiness. In one survey, people on Forbes’s list of wealthiest Americans reported only slightly greater happiness than other Americans; 37% were less happy than the average American. Even lottery winners gain only a temporary jolt of joy. (Myers and Diener, 1995, p. 13)
Over time there have been many attempts to discern what true happiness is. Also, attempting to resolve the difference between happiness and pleasure has been a key component of this search. This stretches back to Aristotle who states emphatically that they are different. Pleasure, he poses, has its origin in the survival needs of an organism to preserve itself, quite an early Darwinian attitude. So, no matter how much pleasure or joy can be associated with certain activities done for their own sake, Aristotle refused to identify pleasure with happiness.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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At first, I thought 4 of pages is too much for such a issue. But now I see it could not be done better. As the author starts you see the complexity of the topic. I’ve read all at once. Precise paper

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