How to be economically happy

Who doesn’t want to be happy?! Fortunately, that’s the focus of genuine philosophy, as our Tradition so deeply reveals. As Aristotle put it, human flourishing (eudamonia) is “a certain sort of activity of the soul expressing virtue.” Such activity of the soul spans the human experience, including our daily interactions with others. 

At this year’s National Classical Education Symposium, economist Dr. Mary Hirschfeld (Villanova University) joined us for a lecture on the history of happiness, with particular emphasis on her own exploration of the economics of happiness. By reviewing the history of economics all the way back to our Greek forbearers, Dr. Hirschfeld offers some real insights to the challenge of happiness in an age of material abundance—including the recovery of the idea of pleonexia, or avarice.

At this time of social and economic instability, it might be worth reviewing Dr. Hirschfeld’s thinking on how to be happy by obtaining a larger vision of human well-being. If there’s more to life than the next pay raise, we might learn from Adam Smith and Aristotle how economics can really make us happy. 

Enjoy the video-lecture, and let us know where you’re seeing happiness in your corner of the world. 


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