This is the first week in our One Year, Six Ways challenge, in which we try to experience six different philosophies of life in our own, everyday lives. And we begin with Aristotle, one of the fathers of Western philosophy.

So how can we utilise Aristotle’s theories about happiness in our own, everyday lives? Read on.

Can I be too honest?

Aristotle’s view of life starts with the concept of virtues. Virtues are good properties of one’s character that are beneficial to oneself and to others. Think, for instance, of courage, honesty, or kindness.

But not any amount of these virtues is good. One can…


An even braver new world?

The last book of visionary writer Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), Island, is a bold attempt to envision a utopian society that provides its members with everything they need to achieve happiness in life. The author of Brave New World tried here to show a positive vision of how he thought that human beings should live and flourish — but the darkness is never far behind, even in this paradise.

Image by Fidelia Zheng on Unsplash.

Aldous Huxley and The Doors of Perception

Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) was a British writer and philosopher who wrote over fifty books during his lifetime, both novels and non-fiction. The most famous book of his is probably “Brave New World”…


Erich Fromm and Lin Yutang on cultural differences

By Daily Philosophy

Is there a difference between the way we perceive happiness and life in the West in comparison with “Eastern” cultures? Erich Fromm argues that the capitalist West is stuck in a “mode of having,” searching for life satisfaction in the possession of things; while the “Eastern” view or life (in his example, a Japanese poem) is more oriented towards “being.” Chinese-American writer Lin Yutang (1895–1976) also thinks that there is a specifically “Chinese” way of being happy — but do they both mean the same?

Erich Fromm and Bhutan’s National Happiness

In a famous passage, discussed in a previous post, psychologist and philosopher…


Reluctant emperor of Rome, fighter and Stoic philosopher

Today we celebrate the birthday of Marcus Aurelius (121–180 AD), a man who always had wanted to be a scholar, but who was made emperor against his own wishes. He became one of the best emperors of Rome, and a widely-respected philosopher who still inspires us today with his sense of humility and duty.

Marcus Aurelius, reluctant Emperor of Rome

Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus Caesar (121–180 AD), or Marcus Aurelius in short, is still one of the most famous emperors of Rome and one of the best-known Stoic philosophers. …


April 25, 1953: Watson and Crick publish DNA double helix

The moment of the publication of the DNA double helix structure was, at the same time, the end of a long — and sometimes tragic — race, and the beginning of the age of DNA sequencing and genetic engineering; together with AI, one of the most promising and most dangerous technologies of our age.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The book and the truth

In his book “The Double Helix,” James D. Watson, one of the two scientists who are mainly credited with the discovery, gives a funny, entertaining, sometimes breathtaking, and very memorable account of how he and his colleagues came up with the structure of the DNA molecule…


The long tradition of finding joy outside of consumerism

From Diogenes and Epicurus to Erich Fromm and modern minimalism activists, from ancient times to the present, there is a long tradition of philosophers suggesting that long-lasting happiness might be easier to achieve if we don’t primarily focus on material gains.

Welcome back to our discussion of Erich Fromm and his criticism of our capitalist world. In this series, where we try out six different ways of life over the space of a year, we already covered Aristotle in January and February, and have been discussing the German/American philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm throughout March. In the following months we…


Philosopher John Rawls on justice and privilege

How should the international community go about distributing a scarce resource like a vaccine? Philosopher John Rawls (1921–2002) formulated two principles of justice: The liberty principle and the fair equality of opportunity principle that we can use to guide our decisions.

This is the second part of a three part series on the ethics of vaccinations. If you missed the first part, it is here.

In the previous article in this three-part series, we talked about the ethics of vaccines, and particularly about whether the state has an obligation to care for our safety. If so, how far does this…


Erich Fromm on material possessions

If we want to declutter, we must, according to Erich Fromm, first change our relationship to the world. We must change who we are and how we relate to our families, to our friends, to our possessions — and even to the language we use. We will have to leave the mode of having and switch our whole existence to the mode of being.

Welcome back to another instalment in our series about (this month) Erich Fromm, German/American psychologist and philosopher, and his theory of happiness. According to Fromm, it’s no wonder that we often live unhappy lives, since the…


Can the state force us to get vaccinated?

Vaccination ethics is a surprisingly rich field of philosophical inquiry, and it covers issues from all major moral theories, reaching into world politics, poverty, the role of the state and the morality of taxation and car seat belts.

The questions

You would think that the main issue with vaccines would be a straightforward one: can we force people to take them or not?

But when you look a little into the literature on vaccine ethics, it turns out that it is a surprisingly rich field of philosophical inquiry, and it covers issues from all major moral theories, reaching into world politics, poverty…


Two different ways of living one’s life

Philosopher and social psychologist Erich Fromm distinguishes between two modes of existence. One can live one’s life in the “mode of having” or in the “mode of being”. The mode of having sees everything as a possession, while in the mode of being we perceive ourselves as the carriers of properties and abilities, rather than the consumers of things.

Welcome back to another post in our year-long exploration of how we can live the classic philosophies of happiness in our own lives! Last time, we talked about how we can become a bit less dependent on technology in our lives

Daily Philosophy

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