Happiness?

Jeanne Proust at Strand Bookstore

Fri, May 25 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

There seems to be no objective definition for happiness. We might consider happiness as a universal wish – though without any possible universal agreement on what will cause it.

Happiness seems to be the ultimate goal of our existence. At the end, all we want is to be happy. We want to do / to be/ to feel a lot of things in order to reach goals (ends) but Happiness appears to be The End within and for itself: we don’t want to be happy for the sake of something else – we want happiness for its own sake.


But to this conviction, we can oppose the uncertainty of what exactly we mean by happiness.

There seems to be no objective definition for happiness: the contingencies within everyone’s existence make people wish for different things as the sources of what could make them happy. We might consider happiness as a universal wish – though without any possible universal agreement on what will cause it. In this Olio, we’ll consider different possible answers to the following questions:

Is happiness a sum of pleasures?
Is it an unattainable, or even vain ideal?
Is it up to us to be happy?
Should we refrain from thinking in order to be happy?


Join philosopher Jeanne Proust as we dive into this topic from all angles and possibly find an evening of happiness.


Teacher: Jeanne Proust

Jeanne Proust's research focuses on Théodule Ribot’s Diseases of the Will, both in philosophical and psychological perspectives. While teaching at different universities here in New York, Jeanne is advocating for a widening of philosophical education beyond the academic frontiers.


Venue: Strand Bookstore

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

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Government Action and Inaction in Response to Covid-19

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New Toys and New Tyrants: Capitalism and the Rise of Platform Economics

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.