The Good Life



It’s all a question of what you think happiness is. And this is a question that philosophers have asked for centuries. And the minute that Jeremy Bentham said that we should look at happiness in terms of pleasure and satisfaction, John Stuart Mill immediately said, “Now wait a minute, it’s better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.” And so he then insisted that we had to think about happiness as containing many different kids of experiences, many different kinds of activity. And well, Mill wasn’t the first to say that. He was really getting all of that from Aristotle. So I’m with Mill, and I think that the Bethamite approach, where we just think of happiness as a single feeling, has got very little going for it. If you just think about a daily experience, the pleasure I get from writing is very different from the pleasure that I get from going out and buying a very nice dress. They’re just very different things. And the pleasure that somebody might get from bringing up a child is different again. So I think that’s not a good idea. And I think we should have a much more Millian rather than Benthamite conception of happiness.

Evans, J. (2019). Martha Nussbaum on measuring human development. Retrieved from

What is a Good Life?

CrashCourse. (2017, February 13). What is a good life?: crash course philosophy #46 [Video File]. Retrieved from

What makes a good life? Robert Waldinger TED talk

TED. (2016, January 25). What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness – Robert Waldinger [Video File]. Retrieved from

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CrashCourse. (2016, December 19). What is justice?: crash course philosophy #40  [Video File]. Retrieved from h

Alain de Botton

TED. (2009, July 28). A kinder, gentler philosophy of success – Alain de Botton  [Video File]. Retrieved from

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