Philosophy

Articles

Pleasure and Happiness

Jean Austina1

a1 St Hilda's College, Oxford.

First a word about my title: ‘Happiness’ is ground upon which so many angels have feared to tread that it seemed not inappropriate for me to rush in. It is a subject to which we all do give thought, not only with the force majeure of professional philosophising, but in our personal lives; however, in trying to sort the subject out a little, and it is one about which both our literature and our thinking are notoriously muddled, I fear I may rather have generated confusion than diminished it. In attempting by a somewhat roundabout method to clarify a little the sort of question, though scarcely, I am afraid, the sort of answer, that is appropriate to such thought, it has, perhaps inevitably, seemed necessary to consider in almost as much detail the more fashionable subject of Pleasure; and here too, with less excuse, the points I wish to make are abbreviated and unashamedly oversimplified. An Aunt Sally, however, has its uses, and my neck is not so precious that it cannot afford to be stuck out.