Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. Various research groups, including Positive psychology, endeavor to apply the scientific method to answer questions about what "happiness" is, and how we might attain it.
Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics. Happiness economics suggests that measures of public happiness should be used to supplement more traditional economic measures when evaluating the success of public policy.
Famous quotes containing the word happiness:
“To you, more than to any others, the privilege is given, to assure that happiness [of saving the Union], and swell that grandeur, and to link your own names therewith forever.”
—Abraham Lincoln (18091865)
“... the happiness of a people is the only rational object of government, and the only object for which a people, free to choose, can have a government at all.”
—Frances Wright (17951852)
“Your children dont have equal talents now and they wont have equal opportunities later in life. You may be able to divide resources equally in childhood, but your best efforts wont succeed in shielding them from personal or physical crises. . . . Your heart will be broken a thousand times if you really expect to equalize your childrens happiness by striving to love them equally.”
—Marianne E. Neifert (20th century)