Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22: Happiness as Duty (Vol. 32, pp. 310-317)

Immanuel Kant, among the most influential of German philosophers, was born this day in 1724. In this reading from "Fundamental Principals of Morals," Kant wrote that it is our duty to be happy, not because joy is in and of itself wonderful, but because unhappy people are prone to sin.

One would think this is the opposite of Calvinism, in which happiness is considered sin. Unfortunately, that's the clearest thought in this essay, which quickly boggs down into the mechanics of developing a philosophy.

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