Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Julia Annas analyzes the results of a thought experiment in which students who'd first said a happy life consists in a large salary, a nice house, an SUV etc., decide on second thought that a sudden, unexpected cash windfall would not make them happy after all:
"What this shows is that it was not really the material things, the stuff, that they imagined would make their lives happy. Rather, they thought of a happy life as one in which they earned the money, made something of their lives... Just having the stuff was not all they wanted."
Indeed. "How many people really think that stuff alone will make them happy?"
Too many, no doubt. But whatever they think, stuff happens.