William James – Pursuit of Happiness

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The philosophical thoughts of William James state Happiness requires Choice: the world in itself is a neutral flux of “booming confusion,” hence it is entirely up to us whether to view it as positive, negative, or as absent of all meaning. Happiness requires Active Risk-taking: happiness is not produced merely by thinking or by resigning oneself to life’s circumstances, but rather by taking bold risks and acting on possibilities that come from the “heart’s centre,” the Real Self within. Happiness involves “As-if” thinking: while we cannot prove rationally that free will exists or that life is meaningful, acting “as if” we are free or “as if” there is an ultimate meaning in life will through that very activity produce a free and meaningful life. Happiness often comes after a Crisis of Meaning: throughout history, the happiest people often record going through a deep depression caused by a sense of the loss of meaning…these events should not be repudiated but welcomed since only through them is the “Twice-born” sense of renewal possible.

William James gave his views based on the pursuit of happiness which can apply by human being in order that we may encounter happiness when we make the final decision in life. He said theoretical analyses are not enough to determine our judgements, but we need pragmatism. William in his philosophical idea, that religious is a vital to human happiness to those who have believes in God pursuit happiness. He also question, how do I gain happiness or good life? Yes, his answer is capacity to choose or capacity to involve in our daily life. Happiness comes when we involve in making relationship with the community we are to act and reasoning before we put in practice which William state once born and twice born means action and conversion, which will lead us to the eternal truth of God.

Aristotles acknowledges the final good of human beings can fully engage in purposive behaviour and do things for reason and acts with ends in view. He said while enjoyed delicious food, that eating it brings us pleasure, and that desire health for the obvious reason that health is good and ourselves, and we do all these things we do for the sake of happiness. “Aristotles simplified that every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, seems to aim at some good; accordingly, the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim”.

Aristotles states the final and ultimate reason to all action and action is our own happiness: we all wise to be happy and happiness for our own sake and that is why we pursuit other thing for happiness, but genuine happiness can destruct of life in ruins. Aristotles consider happiness in two ways. Happiness is subjective if, agent’s desire satisfaction, and other when he feels happy not authoritative happiness. Aristotles mention happiness in human function which regard basis of a human a functional account of human goodness. The highest good is happiness and good, doing well, a flute prayer which human being has the function.

In conclusion

This paper has demonstrated Aristotle understands on the notion of good life. He proposed certain information of Good life and the characteristic on the highest human good. The criteria Aristotle mention accord to his philosophical thoughts on Ethics and achievements of all being at the end. Aristotle observed Good life, virtual action, science or philosophical contemplation. However he presented and argues on good life in philosophical valid dimension, the political life, and the voluntary life. Aristotle offer ways to grasps good life of happiness is an activity of the rational soul in accordance with the virtues.

Aristotle concerned on dynamic experienced that we are examining the Good life as the living truth and the means of common unity in all human existence and to justify our problems into the fuller virtue of happiness. Saint Augustine and Saint Aquinas, whom dedicated and draw conclusion of truth and moral attention through Reason and Faith, Augustine received truth and joy from God’s grace, and Aquinas explained the Greek philosophers on Ethic on Aristotle and between philosophy and theology he was based on the Christians revelation who God contrary to the right reason. Aristotle and Plato are greatest ancients’ philosophers whom they were layout the foundation of the truth and the reality longing of human existence within this universe.

Aristotles on Ethics good life of our existence is not the threats, but happiness that revealing in our highest human good which will produce the better person into the society and all the action, thoughts in a being. Good life when we justify, evaluates our lives in the moral good conscience of what we will be going to do and practice in our daily lives. But actually, the development technology in our modern time also cases and become effectives if we do not analyse it. It is good to be critique into positives impact that Aristotles in his philosophical thoughts of good life elaborate to human desire in order that the human may distinguished and pursuit what should to be done his life, so that the person will able to have notion of good life from his heart.

Reflection: on the concept on Solomon islands on the notion of good life

How did they were practice good life in the traditional way of good life and Christian’s perspective among them and in some of situation where concern that good life will done. As reflects on the notion of Moro movement to the people of south Guadalcanal always called together and talk about the preservation of the cultural and identity that’s how people should continue to take in consideration for the pursuit happiness into the tribes, clans and society in which the people of Guadalcanal will up hold and learn their children to grow in better life.

My past experienced from the people of south Guadalcanal they were very faithful in shared relationship among four tribes people of people in the south coast of Solomon, especially respect of the obligation of the societies and they were faithful hand to hands of doing responsibility in the cultural concepts of trustworthy within the people. For example, chief always concerned and judge the people according to the cultural norms. The Moro movement in south east Guadalcanal now this today not strong likely in the past people because the young generation grow in modern world and they influence and attracts in so many life styles and they creates destruction sometimes in the society not accordance to the really well beings of people.

Therefore, looking at our country today, the church and Government play the important roles towards the life of the Solomon islanders, they were certainly concern the people should live a good life as the motto of Solomon Islands says to lead is to save. This is the most fundamental life should the people must take into consideration by helping one another for the good and purpose of our state today, as the church take initiated to build the good frame of thought by living the word of God and practice the deeds to others. The church is best way that offers us by living good with respect, faithfulness, forgiveness. However, even poor, rich, all part of one body of Christ. This is challenging us to preserve our cultures and our Government should lay actives according the mine of the church in his decisions making for the common of the citizen and developing the notion of good life that may be strong and constant in love, peace and respect in our nation Solomon Islands.


Cite this paper

William James – Pursuit of Happiness. (2020, Sep 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/william-james-pursuit-of-happiness/



What is William James best known for?
William James is best known for his contributions to the field of psychology, particularly his work on the study of consciousness and the development of functionalism. He is also recognized as a philosopher and a key figure in American pragmatism.
What is William James theory?
William James theory is that the True is the name of whatever proves itself to be good in the way of belief, and the Good is the name of whatever proves itself to be true in the way of action.
What was William James main contribution to the field of psychology?
William James was a philosopher and psychologist who wrote the first psychology textbook. He is also credited with developing functionalism, which was a major school of thought in psychology.
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