Happiness

What then is Jones interested in? He must desire something. To be sure, he does. Jones has an overwhelming passion for, a complete preoccupation with, his own happiness. The one exclusive desire of his life is to be happy. It takes little imagination at this point to see that Jones’s one desire if bound to be frustrated. People who – like Jones – most hotly pursue their own happiness are the least likely to find it. Happy people are those who successfully pursue such things as aesthetic or religious experience, self-expression, service to others, victory in competitions, knowledge, power, and so on. If none of these things in themselves and for their own sakes mean anything to a person, if they are valued at all then only as a means to one’s own pleasant states of mind – then that pleasure can never come. The way to achieve happiness is to pursue something else.

Psychological Egotism, Joel Feinberg

 

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