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ERIC Number: EJ1023182
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
Happiness Rich and Poor: Lessons from Philosophy and Literature
Cigman, Ruth
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v48 n2 p308-322 May 2014
Happiness is a large idea. It looms enticingly before us when we are young, delivers verdicts on our lives when we are old, and seems to inform a responsible engagement with children. The question is raised: do we want this idea? I explore a distinction between rich and poor conceptions of happiness, suggesting that many sceptical arguments are directed against the latter. If happiness is to receive its teleological due, recognised in rather the way Aristotle saw it, as a final end that crucially lacks specificity, it must be richly conceived without denying the significance of unhappiness or despair. I suggest that Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics" is "completed" in a distinctively Aristotelian sense by authors like George Eliot and Virginia Woolf. Substantial excerpts are discussed to show how ideas like "making others happy" may be richly conceived. By treating literary examples (poetically articulated, sensually received) as ineliminable reference points in our thinking, we open up a new way of imagining relationships in education. We attend communally, conversationally and often argumentatively to the dramas of human life. This, I argue, is how we grapple with large ideas and bring about ethical learning.
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A