Practical philosophy in the classical German tradition from Kant to Hegel seems to be moralistic and even ascetic. The core of its moral and legal philosophy is a concept of freedom as independence from any longing for pleasure and happiness. Tracing the development of Hegel’s philosophy of subjective, objective and absolute spirit, however, exhibits a deep systematic connection between the forms of freedom and happiness in all their traditional and modern meanings. Many of them can be compared with modern conceptions, but others have to be saved from oblivion and defended against reductive conceptions of freedom and happiness in modern philosophy.
Abstract: This essay reconstructs and evaluates Aristotle’s argument in Nicomachean Ethics IX.9 that the happy person needs friends, in which Aristotle combines his well-known claim that friends are other selves with the claim that human perception is meta-perceptual: the perceiving subject perceives its own existence. After exploring some issues in the logic of perception, the essay argues that Aristotle’s argument for the necessity of friends is invalid since perception-verbs create referentially opaque contexts in which the substitution of co-referential terms fails.
Drawing on a Leibnizian panpsychist ontology of living beings that have a body and a soul, this paper outlines a theory of space based on the perceptual and appetitive relations among these creatures’ souls. In parallel with physical space founded on relations among bodies subject to efficient causation, teleological space results from relations among souls subject to final causation and is described qualitatively in terms of creatures’ pleasure and pain, wellbeing and happiness. Particular places within this space include the kingdom of grace, where morally responsible, rational beings act as far as possible in accord with the ideal of justice as universal love and wise benevolence. However, while Leibniz considered love as properly directed only towards rational beings, it is argued here that the truly wise person will direct their love and benevolence towards all living things.
Ausgehend von Leibniz’ panpsychistischer Ontologie von Lebewesen, die einen Körper und eine Seele haben, skizziert dieser Beitrag eine Theorie des Raumes, der auf den perzeptuellen und appetitiven Relationen zwischen den Seelen der Geschöpfe beruht. Parallel zum physikalischen Raum, der in Relationen zwischen den effizient kausal interagierenden Körper begründet liegt, ergibt sich aus den Relationen zwischen den Seelen, die finaler Verursachung unterliegen und in qualitativen Begriffen von Freude und Schmerz wie von Wohl und Zufriedenheit beschrieben werden, ein teleologischer Raum. Besondere Regionen dieses Raumes bilden das Königreich der Gnade, wo moralisch verantwortliche, rationale Wesen so weit wie möglich in Übereinstimmung mit dem Ideal der Gerechtigkeit als universale Liebe und weise Güte handeln. Während Leibniz jedoch meinte, dass sich echte Liebe nur auf rationale Wesen richte, wird hier argumentiert, dass eine wahrhaft weise Person ihre Liebe und Güte auf alle Lebewesen beziehen wird.
(i) lays down criteria for the identification of happiness;
(ii) considers various candidates; and then
(iii) makes his final pronouncement at the conclusion of the work.
This investigative feature of the work is well-known. 1 However, there is another important
and John Stuart Mill in the 19th century. The core element of the classical utilitarian rationale is the so-called Greatest Happiness Principle which aims at the maximization of happiness or well-being over pain:
The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest
he is human, he cannot help envying them their happiness.
(Nietzsche 1876/1983, 60f; cited in Hoerl 2008,486)
The envy that Nietzsche alludes to becomes especially plausible in light of terror management theory. For human persons, great happiness may, explicitly or implicitly, be accompanied by
human beings consider the mere existence of something (and especially of themselves) as both desirable and good eo ipso, without requiring evidence in the form of reasoning or performing a trade-off, e.g. between suffering and happiness.
There are many more illustrations of human biases that we cannot
mind to return to pre-investigative tranquillity, the dogmatists’ failure to deliver on their promise of happiness seems especially unfortunate. As it turns out, however, there is a state of tranquillity available in the absence of a decisive resolution, namely, the tranquillity which arises