1 There are so many articulations of this belief that it is difficult
to quote. I open with this quote as it uses everyday language
idea that is both everyday and philosophical: that happiness
for. Probably one of the most dramatic philosophical articulat
ciple was offered in the seventeenth century by Blaise Pasc
“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever
they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some goin
others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with
The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the
action, of every man, even of those who hang themselves” ([1
This rather extraordinary insistence on the universality of hap
tive of the will involves an equally extraordinary discussion o
failure of happiness, which clearly anticipated the psychoana
“What is it then this desire and this inability proclaim to us
was once in man a true happiness of which there now remain
mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all hi
seeking from things absent to help he does not obtain in thin
these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only
infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God Him
2 The following are some of the key books published in the last fe
2005; McMahon 2006; Nettle 2006; Gilbert 2006; Haidt 200
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