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Happiness limits

I applaud Jeremy Bentham’s principle that we should am for the greatest happiness of the greatest numbers, but it is possible to exaggerate this philosophy of life. I have devoted several papers to this subject.


The mythical myths of happiness

This book review of Sonja Lyubomirsky's The myths of Happiness discusses the idea that we ought to get the scientific facts straight before we can succeed in our pursuit of happiness. I do think that life is not that simple.  

Download the paper: The Mythical Myths of Happiness.

More wisdom hardly makes one happier

Possible tensions between wisdom and happiness have been extensively debated in philosophy. Some regard wisdom as the ‘supreme part of happiness’, whereas others think that a more accurate and wiser view on reality might reduce happiness. An empirical paper shows that wisdom is very modestly correlated with happiness.

Download the paper: Self-Reported Wisdom and Happiness: An Empirical Investigation

The wisdom of old genes

Feeling good about your life, is pointless if that means that the circumstances of your life deteriorate. That is why we need negative emotions to warn us that things are going wrong in our lives.

Download the paper: Transhumanism and the wisdom of old genes; Is neurotechnology a source of future happiness?

The limits of happiness advice

The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky is the book I will recommend to anyone who asks me for advice on what to buy when it comes the self-help happiness books. Still I do believe that we should be aware of this state of the art happiness advice.

Download the paper: The State of the Art in Happiness Advice; Can We Escape the Dodo-Verdict?

Happy housewives

Happiness can be used coercively. Review of Ahmed’s book The promise of happiness, that shows that the pursuit of happiness ought to be used wisely.

Download the paper: The Loreley of Happiness

Favorable circumstances do not guarantee happiness

In the pursuit of happiness, the most common mistake is to focus on circumstances: If only we will be rich, famous, successful, or beloved, we will find the happiness we are looking for. This is a mistake, as shown in my review of the movie Lucky.

Download the paper: Broke, Down in the Dumps, and Happy


Other papers by Ad Bergsma about happiness


Limits of happiness