IAI Debate: Purpose and the Pursuit of Happiness

Is there a purpose to life? Are we right to focus on practical goals and abandon any deeper purpose? Or is a goal independent of our everyday pursuits essential to our being? This IAI debate considers these questions.

LOGO_iai-black_40x373222 This new debate by the Institute of Arts and Ideas considers questions related to the relationship between goals and the happy life. Many of us seem to need purpose and goals in order to maintain a healthy psychology and to keep us falling into despair. But is this apparent need essential to what it means to be human? The panel in this debate considers these questions from a variety of viewpoints ranging from the view that “Happiness is a cultural elaboration which has become a psychological need” to “We need a purpose independent from our daily practical pursuits.” From the IAI page for this debate: Is there a purpose to life? Nietzsche teased ‘only the English strive for happiness.’ Are we right to focus on practical goals and abandon any deeper purpose? Or is a goal independent of our everyday pursuits essential to our being?

The Panel: French philosopher Pascal Bruckner and evolutionary psychologist Nicholas Humphrey confront the biggest question with Costa award-winning novelist and comedian AL Kennedy.

Check out the video below and visit their website to join the conversation!

 

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