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Du Châtelet, Emilie. Discourse on Happiness
2009, Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings, ed. with an Introduction by Judith P. Zinsser, transl. by Isabelle Bour, Judith P. Zinsser, Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, 349–365.
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Added by: Björn Freter

Abstract: It is commonly believed that it is difficult to be happy, and there is much reason for such a belief; but it would be much easier for men to be happy if reflecting on and planning conduct preceded action. One is carried along by circumstances and indulges in hopes that never yield half of what one expects. Finally, one clearly perceives the means to be happy only when age and self- imposed fetters put obstacles in one’s way.

Comment: This accessible 18th century text lays out a hedonistic theory of happiness with interesting parallels to Epicureanism.

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