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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: October 2020

Question 2, article 1 - Whether man’s happiness consists in wealth?

from Question 2 - Where Does Complete Happiness Lie? Failed Candidates


Wealth is the first candidate for happiness to be considered, probably because so many nominate it. It is easy to see why people would fix their hopes on material possessions, for the desire for riches is allied with other strong motives. One is fear, the anxiety that I will not have enough. Another is status, because although the rich are resented and envied, they are also admired. Still another is the love of power, which we consider later. And then there is sheer sensuality: It is not for nothing that the Latin term luxuria can refer not only to luxury in the English sense, but also to self-indulgence or lust. I imagine that I will be happy if only I get what I want – everything I want.

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