Sheryl Elena Rojas
17 September 2021
Humanities Endless Pursuit of Happiness and The Age of Reason
Humanity has been granted by the universe both a blessing and a curse; we have reached the most fortunately unfortunate point in our own evolution in which the idea of ‘instinct’ and ‘survival’ is no longer deemed enough of a purpose and satisfaction. Being both gifted and cursed with self awareness and emotion, humanity has pursued happiness since conscious thoughts were able to write on paper. It was only recently though (a little over 300 years), that happiness and emotional satisfaction became a priority of people. The goal and pursuit of happiness became a genuine thing around the Age of Reason in which new ideas of government, religion, and self, began to sprout as a new spring leaf upon the tree of mentally evolutionizing humanity. This age brought forth a beautiful yet tragic perception of happiness and its attainment, and the quick evolution of human emotion. Philosophers such as John Locke, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, and more spent their lives studying the philosophy of utility and what it truly meant to be happy based on what benefited the majority of the people. Philosophers as such during the Age of Reason contributed greatly to the mental evolution and change of priorities and desires in humanity, and they played a large role in what is now known as ‘Humanities Endless Pursuit of Happiness.”
In John Locke’s “Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, he introduced humanities pursuit of happiness saying,
“” �I IMMANUEL KANT Leaures on Ethics. 1775.
Hughes, Julie. Aporia. Vol. 14, 2004, pp. 61, 70, aporia.byu.edu/pdfs/hughes-the_role_of_happiness_in_kants_ethics.pdf.
“Locke and Happiness.” Pursuit-of-Happiness.org, 2010, www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/john-locke/.
Matson, Eric. “Perspectives from Smith on Wealth and Happiness | Adam Smith Works.” Www.adamsmithworks.org, ADAM SMITH WORKS, 13 May 2020, www.adamsmithworks.org/documents/perspectives-from-smith-on-wealth-and-happiness. Accessed 17 Sept. 2021.
Smith, Adam. “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.” Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments, by Adam Smith, 1790, www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/smith1759.pdf.
Stearns, Peter. “The History of Happiness.” Harvard Business Review, 2012, hbr.org/2012/01/the-history-of-happiness.
“The Works, Vol. 1 an Essay Concerning Human Understanding Part 1 | Online Library of Liberty.” Oll.libertyfund.org, part of the liberty fund network, oll.libertyfund.org/title/locke-the-works-vol-1-an-essay-concerning-human-understanding-part-1.
Veenhoven, Ruut. “Greater Happiness for a Greater Number: Did the Promise of Enlightenment Come True?” Social Indicators Research, vol. 130, no. 1, 19 Oct. 2015, pp. 9–25, 10.1007/s11205-015-1128-x. Accessed 7 May 2019.