The Pursuit of Happiness


Daniel G. Brinton


The Pursuit of Happiness - Bookrepublic

The Pursuit of Happiness


Daniel G. Brinton



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€ 2,99


The pursuit of happiness,—the pursuit of one’s own happiness,—is it a vain quest? and, if not vain, is it a worthy object of life? There have been plenty to condemn it on both grounds. They have said that the endeavor is hopeless; that to study the art of being happy is like studying the art of making gold, which is the only art by which gold can never be made. Nothing, they add, is so unpropitious to happiness as the very effort to attain it. They go farther. “Let life,” they proclaim, “have a larger purpose than enjoyment.” They quote the mighty Plato, when he demands that the right aim of living shall stand apart, and out of all relation to pleasure or pain. They declare that the theory of happiness as an end is the most dangerous of all in modern sociology—the tap-root of the worst weeds in the political theories of the day, for the reason that the individual pursuit of enjoyment is necessarily destructive of that of society at large. Moreover, they urge, who dares write of it? For he who has not enjoyed it, cannot speak wisely of it; and in him who has attained it, ’twere insolence to boast of it. Over against these stands another school, not, by any means, solely a modern school. If that boasts Plato as its leader, this can claim Aristotle as its master. It is with the single aim to become happier, said that wise teacher, that we deliberately perform any act of our lives. This is the final end of every conscious action of man. That alone is the true purpose of existence, which, by itself, and not as a means to something else, makes life worth living and desirable for its own sake; and happiness—happiness alone—fulfills this requirement.


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