Thursday, 5 September 2013

Hedonism & Eudaimonia - Important Concepts for Living The Good Life

     The desire for comfort & aversion to discomfort (approach-avoidance dichotomy) is a pre-conscious reflexive drive (brain stem)
     Thinking and behaving wisely occurs by way of moment-by-moment series of conscious choices. We're aware of being conscious when we're conscious.
     Any lapse in this high level of consciousness, and we rapidly slip - by default - from this evolved mode of being (prefrontal cortex), into a very basic semi-conscious autopilot mode (brain stem). See:

     "Within ethical philosophy, happiness has long been proposed as the ultimate goal of human functioning.
     Hedonic enjoyment refers to the positive affects that accompany getting or having the material objects & action opportunities one wishes to possess or to experience. The proponents of ethical hedonism ... contended that such pleasure is the sole good and that the ‘good life’ consists of maximizing such experiences.
     In contrast, eudaimonia has been defined not in terms of being pleased with one's life, but as the subjective experiences associated with doing what is worth doing and having what is worth having. Eudaimonistic ethics ... proposes that the goal of human functioning is to live in a manner consistent with one's daimon, or true self, where the daimon represents one's best potentials. ‘Living in truth to the daimon’ entails selecting life goals on the basis of one's inherent nature, with the pursuit of such goals giving purpose and meaning to one's life. Acting in a manner to advance or realize those life goals and personal potentials is held to be what is worth doing, and that which can serve to facilitate such self-realization is taken to constitute that which is worth having. Eudaimonia, as a subjective state, refers to the feelings present when one is moving toward self-realization in terms of the developing one's unique individual potentials and furthering one's purposes in living."
       Waterman AS, Schwartz SJ, Conti R. The implications of two conceptions of happiness (hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia) for the understanding of intrinsic motivation. Journal of Happiness Studies 2008; 9(1): 41-79.

from Kelly McGonigal's excellent YouTube video: Authors@Google: Kelly McGonigal

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