What is Happiness? Can I know when I’m Happy?

I'm currently working on an overall critique of Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values for The Leather Library, but I just wanted to post some thoughts on a particular chapter here. For Harris, the goal of a science of ethics is achieving well-being (he's generally utilitarian=the greatest happiness for the … Continue reading What is Happiness? Can I know when I’m Happy?


Would Kant do the Ice Bucket Challenge?

Backyard Philosophy

Most of you are probably familiar with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Celebrities have taken part, including Bill Gates, and it’s been filling social media.

But for those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s pretty simple: when challenged, you either dump ice water on your head or donate $100 or ALS research and treatment. Many donate the money regardless, but if you do dump the ice water, you can challenge three more people, giving them 24 hours to comply. In effect, it goes like this:

The goal, besides raising money, is to spread awareness. The viral quality of the campaign has proven particularly effective, raising over $100 million dollars, according to this article from Aug. 15, and bringing ALS to the forefront of the public sphere. It is a brilliant viral campaign, seeming to make a positive difference.

But for some the project feels too public, too self-broadcasting…

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