Desire and the Socratic Paradox of Happiness

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Airaksinen , T 2017 , ' Desire and the Socratic Paradox of Happiness ' , Tafter Journal , no. 94 . < >

Title: Desire and the Socratic Paradox of Happiness
Author: Airaksinen, Timo
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Political and Economic Studies (2010-2017)
Date: 2017-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Tafter Journal
ISSN: 1974-563X
Abstract: If you are able to satisfy your desires you are happy; this is one of the many theories of happiness. The Socratic Paradox says that a virtuous person is always happy, regardless of his circumstances. An enigmatic proposition follows: You can be happy even in the worst circumstances if you can satisfy your relevant desires. This sounds strange but I will argue that it is a plausible view. However, a lucky person, that is a person in good circumstances, may be unhappy. Let me suggest a Switch Test, namely, we ask whether an unhappy but lucky person would like to change places with a happy but unlucky person; the answer is in the negative. The lucky person will prefer his good circumstances regardless of the fact that he is and remains unhappy. Therefore, the happiness of Socrates is not what one should aim at. But to maintain that happiness is not desirable sounds paradoxical. The Socratic Paradox can be resolved but it then leads to another paradox of happiness.
Subject: 611 Philosophy

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