Happiness for some is solitude and the list goes on and on.
Dhumrapan essay happiness is a state of mind.
The scientific literature on happiness has grown to proportions fartoo large for this article to do more than briefly touch on afew highlights. Here is a sampling of oft-cited claims:
None of the things mentioned solely leads to happiness.
Every individual has his or her own emotions and way of thinking and as a result of this no one can really say what happiness is and what happiness is not.
The road to happiness is a personal journey.
Outwardly virtuous conduct undertaken in the name of personalhappiness might, if wrongly motivated, be incompatible with genuinevirtue. One might, for instance, engage in philanthropy solely to makeoneself happier, and indeed work hard at fine-tuning one'sassistance to maximize the hedonic payoff. This sort of conduct wouldnot obviously instantiate the virtue of compassion or kindness, andindeed might be reasonably deemed contemptible. Similarly, it might beadmirable, morally or otherwise, to be grateful for the good things inone's life. Yet the virtue of gratitude might be undermined bycertain kinds of gratitude intervention, whereby one tries to becomehappier by focusing on the things one is grateful for. If expressionsof gratitude become phony or purely instrumental, the sole reason forgiving thanks being to become happy—and not that one actually hassomething to be thankful for—then the “gratitude”might cease to be admirable, and may indeed be unvirtuous.