The World Wide Web’s Definition of “Happiness”
Since the beginning of time individuals have sought out on the daunting task of achieving the desirable goal of being happy. Happiness is deceptively simple. It’s about being satisfied with life and experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones (pbs.org). What is true happiness though, and can it be quantifiable? While some would say that true happiness can never truly be obtained for the reasons that there are various explanations, personal beliefs about happiness and the subjective manner happiness can be described. Many have tried to define happiness, but can someone else give an absolute definition to another’s happiness? Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary does not provide a single definition, offering three meanings of the word happiness. Happiness is good fortune or happiness is a state of well-being and contentment. Happiness is also defined as a pleasurable or satisfying experience (Merriam-Webster, 2013). Do people need all of these definitions to be truly happy? Philosophy explains there are roughly two philosophical literatures on “happiness,” each corresponding to a different sense of the term. One uses ‘happiness’ as a value term, roughly synonymous with well-being or flourishing. The other body of work uses the word as a purely descriptive psychological term, akin to ‘depression’ or ‘tranquility’. What are the important meanings of the different terms and how do they connect (Haybron, 2011)? Whether people are searching for fulfillment in their lives or just the easy act of smiling more rather than frowning and laughing more than crying; everyone is chasing the allure of happiness. In the past, societies have relied on profound philosophers to teach them the meaning of happiness. In this day in age, society turns to the great and all-knowing World Wide Web to give the answers to the age old questions, what is happiness and how do we achieve it or is happiness ever truly...
References: pbs.org (n.d.). Public Broadcasting service. Retrieved June 6, 2013, from http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/happiness
Happiness. 2013. In Merriam-Webster.com.
Retrieved June 6, 2013, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happiness
Dalai Lama. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved June 6, 2013, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dalai_lama.html
Sydney J. Harris. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved June 6, 2013, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/sydney_j_harris.html
Haybron, Dan, "Happiness", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2011/entries/happiness/ .
Wordnet 3.0 (accessed 2011-Feb-24 via Wolfram Alpha)
Aristotle. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved June 8, 2013, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/aristotle138768.html
Please join StudyMode to read the full document