Is There a Science of Happiness?
"Philosophers have been discussing the nature and possibility of happiness for as long as philosophy has existed. From Socrates on down, there have been many attempts to provide an understanding of the nature of happiness and the ways that individuals might attain it. Later, a more social theory of happiness emerged stressing the role education and knowledge play in creating a world free of superstition in which everyone has a chance to develop their capacities in a society that encourages self-development and the happiness of all. This movement culminated in the ethical theory of Utilitarianism, which self-consciously aims at promoting the happiness and well-being of the greatest number of people. The question before us now is whether there might not be a science of happiness in light of which we can collectively aim to create a better world in which increasing numbers of people have a chance to live happy and flourishing lives." More