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Critical remarks on shortcuts to happiness: the relevance of effort and pain

Valérie De Prycker UGent (2007) PHILOSOPHICA (GENT). 79. p.57-70
abstract
This paper discloses and questions two assumptions on happiness that are implied by medical and technological proposals for mood enhancement. The first assumption holds that happiness consists of the indiscriminate maximization of positive and minimization of negative emotions. Second, mood enhancement implies the belief that an effortless enhancement of positive emotions will increase happiness. These assumptions are questioned by investigating the validity of the common sense slogan ‘No pain, no gain’. Support for this claim is found in literature on adversity and happiness, effort and happiness, and in evolutionary psychology. From these research domains it is shown that adversity, pain, bother or effort should not always be regarded as negative experiences to be avoided in the pursuit for happiness. In some cases they can contribute a to person’s quality of life. By questioning the indiscriminate and effortless enhancement of positive emotions and avoidance of negative ones this perspective suggests a different view on happiness than the one generally assumed by proponents of mood enhancement.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
journal title
PHILOSOPHICA (GENT)
Philosophica (Gent)
volume
79
issue title
Medical neuroenhancement of mood: Social and ethical issues
pages
57 - 70
ISSN
0379-8402
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A2
VABB id
c:vabb:209620
VABB type
VABB-1
id
677307
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-677307
date created
2009-06-04 11:03:47
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:43:36
@article{677307,
  abstract     = {This paper discloses and questions two assumptions on happiness that are implied by medical and technological proposals for mood enhancement. The first assumption holds that happiness consists of the indiscriminate maximization of positive and minimization of negative emotions. Second, mood enhancement implies the belief that an effortless enhancement of positive emotions will increase happiness. These assumptions are questioned by investigating the validity of the common sense slogan {\textquoteleft}No pain, no gain{\textquoteright}. Support for this claim is found in literature on adversity and happiness, effort and happiness, and in evolutionary psychology. From these research domains it is shown that adversity, pain, bother or effort should not always be regarded as negative experiences to be avoided in the pursuit for happiness. In some cases they can contribute a to person{\textquoteright}s quality of life. By questioning the indiscriminate and effortless enhancement of positive emotions and avoidance of negative ones this perspective suggests a different view on happiness than the one generally assumed by proponents of mood enhancement.},
  author       = {De Prycker, Val{\'e}rie},
  issn         = {0379-8402},
  journal      = {PHILOSOPHICA (GENT)},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {57--70},
  title        = {Critical remarks on shortcuts to happiness: the relevance of effort and pain},
  volume       = {79},
  year         = {2007},
}

Chicago
De Prycker, Valérie. 2007. “Critical Remarks on Shortcuts to Happiness: The Relevance of Effort and Pain.” Philosophica (gent) 79: 57–70.
APA
De Prycker, V. (2007). Critical remarks on shortcuts to happiness: the relevance of effort and pain. PHILOSOPHICA (GENT), 79, 57–70.
Vancouver
1.
De Prycker V. Critical remarks on shortcuts to happiness: the relevance of effort and pain. PHILOSOPHICA (GENT). 2007;79:57–70.
MLA
De Prycker, Valérie. “Critical Remarks on Shortcuts to Happiness: The Relevance of Effort and Pain.” PHILOSOPHICA (GENT) 79 (2007): 57–70. Print.