Why does happiness so often present itself as a problem?
On the final books 8–10 of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics. What does friendship have to do with ethics? Aristotle thinks that friends are necessary for the good life and that the only true friend is a virtuous one. But the number one virtue is reason, and the chief activity for the good life for Aristotle is contemplation, so how does this connect with being a good friend? With guest Ana Sandoiu.
End song: “A Few Gone Down” from The MayTricks’ Happy Songs Will Bring You Down (1994).
The resolution to follow Epicurus is a resolution to protect one’s mind. We live in a dysfunctional consumerist society filled with anxiety and neuroses, where few people analyse their lives, most have a short attention span and are uninterested in disciplining their minds and curbing mindless desires. If philosophy is understood as the Epicureans understand it, then it becomes evident that people desperately need philosophy today.
On some comments to a recent post by Mark on Sam Harris and the ought/is distinction, I noted that Harris assumes that “happiness” (or “flourishing”) is an un-problematic concept — a well-established ruler against which one can easily measure the success or failure of behaviors. Hence when he claims that science can tell us what is right and wrong — Continue Reading …