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Marie Helweg-Larsen, Dickinson College. This year’s World Happiness Report again ranks Denmark among the top three happiest of 155 countries surveyed – a distinction that the country has earned for seven consecutive years. The U.S., on the other hand, ranked 18th this year, a four-spot drop from last year’s report. Denmark’s place among the world’s … Continue reading Why Denmark Dominates the World Happiness Report Rankings Year After Year: Hygge
By Charles Simic Your friend has died, with whom You roamed the streets, At all hours, talking philosophy. So, today you went alone, Stopping often to change places With your imaginary companion, And argue back against yourself On the subject of appearances: The world we see in our heads And the world we see daily, … Continue reading Poem by Charles Simic: The Friends of Heraclitus
Perspectivism: Philosophical view that all ideas come from different perspectives and are caused by specific inner drives, and that any ethical judgment can be made from any number of viewpoints.
Last semester, halfway through a meeting of my ‘Meaning of Life’ seminar, I found myself lying on a window seat along the eastern wall of the classroom. I was scheduled for spinal surgery in a few months, and sitting and standing were tough. I needed a break.
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Legend tells that when the Romans defeated the slave revolt led by the gladiator Spartacus in 71 BCE, they searched in vain for the real Spartacus. Every captive proclaimed “I am Spartacus”, in a sublime gesture of solidarity.
In 1826, at the age of 20, John Stuart Mill sank into a suicidal depression, which was bitterly ironic, because his entire upbringing was governed by the maximisation of happiness. How this philosopher clambered out of the despair generated by an arch-rational philosophy can teach us an important lesson about suffering.