Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Final Report 2 of 4 -Melissa Ferguson

Here is a link to Part 1 of my project: http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2014/11/final-report-1-of-4.html
A Conversation Among Philosophers
Part 2
Happiness
In a hypothetical time, Karl Marx, Boethius, Jeremy Bentham and Jean-Paul Sartre discuss what happiness is and how it can be achieved.
Karl Marx: Happiness is very hard to achieve in today’s society. I think the only structure that can ensure everyone can achieve happiness is communism. I am an egalitarian, so I think if everyone is treated equally we will all achieve happiness. Community and cooperation will make life easier and there will be no class struggle.
Jeremy Bentham: Equality will not lead everyone to happiness. The only true way to be happy is to follow my Greatest Happiness Principle. All you need to do is achieve the most pleasure with the least amount of pain at whatever cost. You can calculate the happiness quantity of something with the Felicific Calculus.
Boethius: What is that? It sounds complicated. I don’t like math.
Jeremy Bentham:  It’s really quite simple. All you need to do is determine how much pleasure something will give, how intense the pleasure is, how long it will last and if it will lead to more pleasures. Then subtract any pain caused by your actions and you will get a happiness value.
Jean-Paul Sartre: You seem to have a good point, Bentham. I think we should also remember that we are fully in control of our feelings. Therefore, if we want to be happy then we are responsible for feeling that way. We are in control of ourselves.

Boethius: Lady Philosophy told me that true happiness can only come from inside. Happiness is a state of mind. Riches, power and honor are worthless because they come and go. I find my happiness through God.

1 comment:

  1. Boethius sounds like kind of a goofball here. I'm not sure he didn't like math, given his admiration for Plato (who sought geometric perfection as the template of human happiness). And I don't think Sartre was a fan of English utilitarianism.

    But never mind, this would be a fun conversation to eavesdrop on. Did all these guys mean the same thing by happiness, or equally value its importance? I'd like to ask them.

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