A recent cross-blog thread about what happiness means:
- Will Wilkinson: responding to some erroneous statements in Richard Layard's recent philosophy book Happiness.
- Brad DeLong replies, defending the notion of happiness-maximization.
- Will Wilkinson rejoins, dissecting the concept of "happiness" as it is normally understood.
- Julian Sanchez weighs in, noting that certain abstract philosophical notions of happiness don't map very well onto actual human psychology.
- Brad DeLong comments, without much explanation, that he finds the objections to happiness-maximization unconvincing.
Of course, longtime readers (all three of you) know that the theory of happiness is a longstanding concern on this blog, and I come down roughly on the side of Wilkinson and Sanchez --- one, two, three, four.