We all agree that happiness is something we want, even if there has never been much agreement about what makes us happy. But as Daniel Russell, UA professor of philosophy at the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, will explain, there has also been an important shift in why we talk about happiness in the first place. When "happiness" comes up in discussion today, it's usually because the discussion is about a feeling. In ancient Greek philosophy, however, "happiness" came up when the discussion was about a future; a practical discussion about what kind of life to give oneself and what kinds of things to live for. Since that discussion is as important today as it has ever been, Russell explores this ancient tradition in search of new directions for contemporary thought about the good lives we want for ourselves and for others.
This lecture is part of the UA's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Downtown Lecture Series on the subject of happiness.