So just what is the good life, according to Buddhism, according to Flanagan, according to this post I'm writing right now? (...According to the inner, private language that my attempts to write are meant to reflect, according to the reality as perceived which my inner words are attempting to express, according to the reality itself to which my reality as perceived is meant to correspond, according to... what was I talking about?)
Ah, yes, so you want to read something brief by Mr. OJ Flanagan that you needn't purchase that is relevant to our great interview with him, do you?
Well take a look at this article he posted, called Buddhist Persons and EudaimoniaBuddha. In it, Owen lays out what a philosophical psychology is supposed to do and gives the Buddhist version of it:
EudaimoniaBuddha = a stable sense of serenity and contentment (not the sort of happy-happy/joy-joy/click-your-heels feeling state that is widely sought and promoted in the West as the best kind of happiness) where this... state is caused or constituted by enlightenment/wisdom and virtue...
So, as we were saying on the 'cast, happiness (according to not just the Buddhist, but Aristotle and any other kind of eudaimonism) is not just "in the head," but has to have certain causes, and more generally certain relations to the world (a certain range of contexts, certain effects, etc.). All this is supposed to rule out a philosophy that says that true happiness could be achieved just by taking a pill that makes you feel good all the time, or immersing in a Matrix-like world of illusion that is fully satisfying subjectively. Well, what do you folks think of this? Anyone want to pick a fight with it?
In the article, Owen also goes into the personhood issue (how can you have "virtues" if you don't have a stable "self" to have those virtues?), the four noble truths (which we'll deal with explicitly, though still pretty briefly, in our follow-up episode #54), the three poisons (delusion, greedy desire, and hatred), a bit of the Abhidhamma, the four virtues (compassion, loving kindness, appreciative joy, and equanimity), and more of the story about neurobiological research that claims to demonstrate the happiness-giving character of Buddhism (and why, given what's been said about eudaimonia, this is obviously bogus).