The Philosophers' Magazine

Issue 52, 1st quarter 2011

Experimental Philosophy

Aaron Jarden, Dan Weijers
Pages 53-58

Wipe that smile off your face

There are enigmas of defining happiness and of discerning what it is that really makes a life go well for someone – topics that positive psychologists have not adequately addressed to date. And this is despite the fact that Ed Diener sees positive psychology as “the endeavour by scientists to answer the classic question posed by philosophers: What is the good life?” What is rarely mentioned by positive psychologists is that, depending on how the specific happiness questions are worded, they can adopt what philosophers see as radically divergent conceptions of happiness.