Tafterjournal n. 94 - MAGGIO GIUGNO 2017

Desire and the Socratic Paradox of Happiness


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If you are able to satisfy your desires you are happy; this is one of the many theories of happiness. The Socratic Paradox says that a virtuous person is always happy, regardless of his circumstances. An enigmatic proposition follows: You can be happy even in the worst circumstances if you can satisfy your relevant desires. This sounds strange but I will argue that it is a plausible view. However, a lucky person, that is a person in good circumstances, may be unhappy. Let me suggest a Switch Test, namely, we ask whether an unhappy but lucky person would like to change places with a happy but unlucky person; the answer is in the negative. The lucky person will prefer his good circumstances regardless of the fact that he is and remains unhappy. Therefore, the happiness of Socrates is not what one should aim at. But to maintain that happiness is not desirable sounds paradoxical. The Socratic Paradox can be resolved but it then leads to another paradox of happiness.


Preliminaries: Bad life, happy persons


Some traditional arguments indicate that desire and desiring are, as such, unhappy states of affairs. One of the traditional Platonic arguments goes like this: To desire is like trying to fill up an empty slot in one’s soul but it proves to be a bottomless pit one cannot fill up; in other words, desire as lust presupposes that one necessarily lacks and misses something, which is painful. One is then prone to act against reason (Plato, Republic 440, and Kahn, 1987: 77).


The rule is: The more objects you find desirable and the more you desire them the more incomplete you are as a person, which entails nothing but suffering.


According to a pessimist like Arthur Schopenhauer, you fail to satisfy your will and desires and that is why you must always remain unhappy. Simone Weil also argues passionately against desires throughout her La pesanteur et la grâce (1947).


Suppose I am a lucky person, I have all the desirable things available to me, my circumstances and resources are perfect, and I believe I am able satisfy my desires. Hence I should be happy but I am not. An easy explanation is of course to say, when you get and have much you expect to get even more and, therefore, you are unhappy; this is greed.


The rule is, when you get something you also want more, or to mimic the well-known Malthusian rule: When our rate of desire satisfaction grows in arithmetical series  your expectations grow in geometrical series, which of course in the long run entails a catastrophe. I assume without any further discussion that is possible to be lucky and unhappy but also lucky and happy, when the second case is the normal case.


According to Plato, Socrates was unjustly sentenced to death but yet he was happy in his prison cell and eager to die: he was happy because he was perfectly virtuous (Plato, Faidon 117d-e).


But perhaps he was happy simply because he wanted to die, he was allowed to die in a noble way, and he was among his caring friends (Plato, Symposium 204e – 205a. This rather blasphemous reinterpretation is supported by the fact that he defended himself in court in a manner that was a virtual suicide. He was mocking his judges and asked for a prize and praise instead of punishment (Plato, Apology 36d).


Moreover, he could have gone to exile or escaped but he refused.  So, he no longer wanted to live, he wanted to die, and if you get what you want you are happy. The case of Socrates, however you may read it, is traditionally called the Socratic Paradox: how can you remain happy when your situation is ever so miserable? [1]


Suppose a person is stuck in bad circumstances. It does not matter how you describe her situation but let us, for the argument’s sake, say that the circumstances are as bad as possible. For example, we have more than anecdotic evidence that a person who suffers from a medical locked-in syndrome may report personal happiness.


He only can move his eyes and now he is instructed to move his eyes in a certain direction if he is happy; he reports happiness [2].  I find this rather incredible when I imagine what I think I would feel in this person’s situation. How can he be happy? Also, when people are questioned about their happiness in many cases people for instance in urban slums report high rates of happiness and overall satisfaction [3].  Some happiness researchers are sceptical about such results but unquestionably they are there. Happiness is a thorny topic, so much is certain, and for many reasons (Brooks, 2008) For instance, 83 percent of the people of Finland report full happiness; yet, independent secondary social indicators show something else [4]. The figure for Finland is ridiculously high. I cannot go into the problems these figures create. Let us admit that people can be and are happy in a variety of circumstances, including bad and demanding social circumstances, but as well they can be unhappy in good circumstances.


Suppose, a person reports happiness in spite of her dire circumstances. You may wonder how this is possible if the theory says the quality of circumstances positively correlates with the person’s happiness level and, accordingly, this person should report unhappiness. Two obvious but false explanations exist: first, self-deception and second, the subjective feeling theory of happiness. People are prone to deceive themselves in many ways. They also systematically and unrealistically overestimate their own happiness levels because they tend to be less than honest about these things when asked. When you say you are unhappy, this indicates an anomaly that you are then invited to explain; the normal answer is positive and this, so to speak, lets you off the hook. All is well – that is a convenient conversation stopper.


What about the subjective feeling theory of happiness? Unquestionably, this is the favourite vulgar view: happiness is what I feel when I am content and satisfied with my life and myself. Let us bypass such a naïve view. There are good reasons for doing so, for instance, it is clear that otherwise any correlation between happiness and life’s circumstances become undefined and unpredictable. Unruly feelings come and go. For instance, I write a good paper and my friends say so, but I feel unhappy because I suspect they are trying to cover up their negative assessments. The main problem is that we cannot specify exactly when one should be happy; if happiness is just a subjective feeling, it cannot be regulated in the same way as happiness that is based on intersubjective facts. When I feel bad it is and remains my personal problem. When my happiness is based on circumstantial facts, I should base my happiness report on such facts. In that case, when my friends say the paper is good, I should report happiness because of my present good circumstances. Happiness as personal gratification is grounded on facts while subjective feelings float in thin air.


Perhaps it helps if we make a clear distinction between a person’s happiness and her feeling of happiness, that is, feeling happy; obviously one can be happy without feeling happy. The most extreme objectivist view of happiness is expressed by the old maxim, Call no person happy before his death, or “Must no one at all, then, be called happy while he lives; must we, as Solon says, see the end?” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics: 1100a10-11). Now – and this is my main point – in spite of her bad circumstances a person may report happiness, when happiness is not a matter of mere subjective feeling. Suppose she is actually happy in a sense that her self-ascription of happiness is made in the right way in her current, bad circumstances. How is this possible?


Desires and Happiness


The desire theory of happiness says: You are gratified and happy when you are able to satisfy your desires (Airaksinen, 2012 and 2014). Suppose I want to be happy; when this desire is satisfied I am happy; therefore, desires can make a person happy. Then suppose you satisfy your other desires; if you do you cannot complain and that is why you must be pronounced happy. You fail to prove your unhappiness.  Or you desire and find the object of your desire to be desirable or good in the relevant manner. When you get your desirable object, you get something good, which we can suppose makes you happy in the sense of being gratified and content. Good has that effect on you.


Concerning the general possibility of satisfying one’s desires, one must draw a line between conditional and unconditional desires. A conditional desire is such that its satisfaction makes the desire vanish. For instance, I desire ice-cream on the condition that I have no ice-cream. When I get it, I no longer desire it. Some desires are unconditional: I want to be a good father. I cannot satisfy this desire in the same way as I satisfy my conditional desire: an unconditional desire refuses to vanish regardless of what I do. This shows that at least some types of desires are fully satiable but some are less so. Therefore, to say that all desires are unsatiable is an exaggeration. Unconditional desires refuse to vanish whatever I do, as long as I desire and thus they are, in this sense, unsatiable. But they are unsatiable only in the sense that they do not vanish; they may still be gratifying to work on. To try to be a good father can be an immensely gratifying process even if one cannot satisfy the desire itself. Actually, to desire to be a good father is part of being a good father.
Desires and their satisfaction are dependent on life’s circumstances, as it is easy to see. Two boundaries exist, namely, you cannot desire what you have or what you cannot have. The traditional formulation of the first boundary is: You love what you have and you desire what you do not have, when the object in question is desirable. Thomas Hobbes among others so, “desire and love are the same thing; save that by desire, we always signify the absence of the object; by love, most commonly the presence of the same” (Hobbes, 1651/1971: Part 1, Ch. 1). When the desirable object is unavailable we say the agent hopes to get it or he entertains the relevant wish, or perhaps he is day-dreaming. Obviously hopes and wishes are closely related to desires but they also are sufficiently different to warrant the distinction.


My suggestion is that the desire based theory of happiness is plausible enough so that we can proceed. It is a worth-while project to try to satisfy your desires in order to be happy. Also, when the circumstances are such that I expect to satisfy my desires, or at least a major subset of them, I am a lucky and happy person. This is to say I am happy both when I actually satisfy my desires and when my circumstances are such that I believe I can satisfy my desires. To have some good wine available in the house makes me happy because I know I can have some good wine, would I want it. The relevant happiness makers are available and that adds to my overall happiness.


The Socratic Paradox Explained


Here is my solution to the Socratic paradox of happiness, or you are perfectly happy in perfectly unhappy circumstances. When a person lives in bad circumstances his desires become adapted to these circumstances in such a way that he still believes he is able to satisfy his relevant desires, whatever they happen to be in his present situation. My personal set of desires, given my typically good situation, is quite different from his set. Different things are available to me and therefore my desires are different, too. We both are happy in where we are; we are happy because we can satisfy our desires. The key point is, remember, that one cannot desire what one believes is impossible to get. When I am in cancer ward and I desire health that makes me unhappy, no question about it. But suppose I realize I am very sick and I only wish to get my health back; in this case my current set of desires is free from a crucially unhappy feature and, hence, I can concentrate on other desires. I do no longer desire health, which would make me automatically unhappy. I desire tender care, decent food, and frequent visits from my caring friends – I get all of these, my desires are satisfied, and I am happy.


I remain unhappy if I live by my hopes and wishes and assume a perspectival viewpoint or a reference point based on my earlier, healthy life. I mean by a reference point a point from where you view your life and its circumstances as if from inside. Obviously, when a patient thinks of his current life it may well look like an aberration when it is compared to the life he used to live, that is, his normal life as his real life. This is how a healthy person, or anyone lucky enough to live in good circumstances, tends to think about serious illness. Alas, this is a mistake and a fallacy one must not commit. The point is, when your life’s circumstances first become worse and worse you of course are unhappy about it. Your reference point still stays within your earlier normal life and its typical, good circumstances. Now all is changing to the worse, which makes you unhappy. If you say you are happy when your circumstances worsen you either lie or deceive yourself. Suppose you do not and, hence, you are unhappy. However, when you have entered the realm of bad circumstances, let us say they are permanent and really bad, and you realize this is where you are going to stay from now on, your reference point changes accordingly. This is now your new normal and your desires change accordingly allowing you to satisfy them to various degrees, perhaps even fully. Your new circumstances spell novel desires that are satiable in these new circumstances. Life’s new normal licences your newly found happiness.


A test case follows. Let us call it a Switch Test. If you are happy (H) while living in bad circumstances and I am unhappy (U) in my good circumstances, do you expect me to be willing to change places with you? The answer must be an emphatic no! Suppose U says he desires happiness, or that happiness is the most desirable thing in the world. Now, if U can get it simply by changing places with H, why would U not do it then? Certainly U is not willing to change places with H even U is unhappy. Perhaps U does not believe H is happy in his bad circumstances, but that is not the point. U does not want to switch places be it as it may, as it seems. The situation here is quite complicated, though. I have heard handicapped people say that they do not want to trade away their signature handicap because it is part of their identity, which is essentially valuable to them. So, we need to distinguish between essential and inessential cases. Some bad circumstances are essential and as such inalienable when others are inessential and alienable. It is difficult to draw a line between these cases, for instance, a slum dweller may say this is his environment and its bad circumstances are essential, or they may be inessential. Given that the bad circumstances are essential, one loves them as desirable objects; in the case of inessential circumstances this may not happen. It seems, therefore, that one may love the bad circumstances, when one’s reference point changes accordingly; in other words, they no longer look bad. Accordingly, a person may love her bad circumstances. This is to say you may be happy in your bad circumstances if you can satisfy your desires there; however, you may or may love the circumstances or they are value neutral to you. The point is that you cannot hate them, given that you are happy; or “How I learned to stop worrying and love them bomb.”


Now, I can be happy in the worst of circumstances provided I change my reference point and start desiring what is available to me in my new normal life. I adjust my desires accordingly and, most of all, I do not desire what is impossible. Sometimes people do this, sometimes they do not. They rebel against their circumstances and this shows their unhappiness. But they can be happy. However, the tough question emerges, as follows. You desire happiness but you then fail the Switch Test; what does this mean as to the concept of happiness? First, your reference point is within your good circumstances and you are unhappy. Second, you refuse to trade your good circumstances to happiness in bad conditions. Are we really talking about happiness here?


Before answering, let me make the following point. The reason why I refuse the trade is that the desires you in your bad circumstances entertain are not for me. I refuse to recognize them. The desires you may satisfy in prison, cancer ward, or in your locked-in condition are either foreign to me or something I, most emphatically, do not want for myself. I do not desire such desires as you try to satisfy in your miserable life, regardless of how happy they may make you. Not all desires are created equal. On the contrary, I recognize only certain desires, or I do not accept all desires, even when I understand that they make someone happy. I realize that in your position your objects of desire would become desirable to me, too, but I do not care. I want to stay where I am.


I refuse to recognize desires like yours in my present, normal situation, so no trade. I argue that they would not make me happy. Think of the following, crucial counterfactual conditional: If I were in your (bad) position, your satisfied desires would not make me happy. How do you like this conditional? Is it acceptable or not? It depends on how you read it. If I will be happier in those bad circumstances than in my present, good circumstances, I should consider the trade. Such a standpoint presupposes that my new circumstances become my new normal, which is to say my reference point moves over there and I no longer desire as I used to in my previous normal circumstances. Still, I do not see how anyone could do the trade. A jump into life’s bad circumstances does not make sense to me, why? One can say, good circumstances are good and bad are bad, but that does not explain much. What do I really mean then? I mean that happiness itself in bad circumstances is worth less than in good circumstances – I simply do not find that kind of happiness desirable. Is this a better solution? It is like saying I do not want a big fly rather than a small horse only because big is better.


Notice that it does not do to say I always hate the bad circumstances you live in because after I have successfully changed my reference point over there, those conditions remain undesirable but I cannot desire their disappearance. In cancer ward, I know the place is undesirable as such but as I no longer cannot desire what is impossible to get, I cannot desire to be somewhere else. To say I do not want your place in cancer ward because I find the place so bad, or I would desire to be somewhere else, is simply a perspectival error. After the switch you would be happy, period. Notice also that the lucky one finds the circumstances of the unlucky person undesirable just like some of his typical desires. If you live in bad circumstances, your desires also tend to be bad, at least from the point of view of a lucky person. We need to think of the bad circumstances and the relevant desires together as one package. I as a pampered member of a rich welfare society I do not want to recognize the package that is available to a slum dweller. As a budding, healthy, young person you do not want to recognize the desires and circumstances of an old, terminal cancer patient, however happy she might be.


The key lesson to learn is that life’s conditions are crucial to the quality and value of happiness. Happiness means the possibility to satisfy the agent’s recognizable desires, when recognisability is an objectivist notion. We are able to judge good circumstances to be good or bad independently of our personal happiness considerations. I do not ask whether such-and-such circumstances are good from my own point of view but whether they are good in a universalized perspective. I may not like the same circumstances you do but in the long run we all can find a common ground when we compare, say, cancer ward and luxury hotel – suppose both come free of charge. I may be happy in both but I do not care of the other one and you must agree with me. Thus the new normal may not be as good as the normal. Therefore, it matters where you are happy as much as how happy you are. Happiness is valuable only in good, normal circumstances and only valuable happiness is worth wanting. If the happy person in a cancer ward does not admit this, the question to ask is this, why would nobody want to trade places with you? It is better to be unhappy in a Ferrari than happy in Lada, as the old platitude goes. This means that I desire happiness but this is only one of my desires that constitute my good life. After all, if you rather be unhappy than happy, the notion of happiness does not make much sense.


Reasons for Unhappiness


According to René Girard all desires are mimetic copies in the sense that desire depends, as copy, on its model (Girard, 1961: Ch. 1, and 1972: Ch. 6). He calls this his Triangular Theory: an agent desires something, his desirable object, according to the model he copies (Airaksinen, 2014: 455-456). Surprisingly enough, this makes us anxious, quarrelsome, violent, and ultimately unhappy. The reason seems to be that you realize your desires that are not your own; you do not recognize them as belonging to you personally – they are mere copies and loans from others. In other words, you are not an autonomous and authentic person and thus your desire based happiness is a fake – actually you as a person are a fake. You may feel you cannot live like that, you are too anxious and frantic, and you accuse others for your existential misery. This comes to you as if naturally; it is their fault because your desires as happiness makers are copied from them. They are the sources of your desire, in that sense they are better than you, and hence responsible for your bad condition (Kirwan, 2005: Ch. 2).


How can such an existential-romantic view on desire be applied to the Socratic paradox of happiness in bad circumstances? Does Girard not say that persons in bad circumstances are miserable exactly in the same way as they are in good conditions? They do their copying in the same way in both cases. Of course, any theory that says all desires make us unhappy is false, as we already assumed. Happy desires are possible. So, let us say Girard’s mimetic theory of desire only explains why some desires in some situations make people unhappy.


Now, I am going to argue in the new Girardian perspective that persons in bad circumstances can be happy, which in this context also explains nicely why some people tend to be unhappy in good circumstances. My argument rests on the following distinction, namely, some desires are motivated and some are motivating. Next, I argue against Girard that motivated desires are not copies unlike motivating desires. People in bad circumstances have their characteristically limited and in many ways specialized sets of desires and the corresponding ideas of desirability. We may talk about them satisfying their basic needs. People in good circumstances have rich, wide, and complex sets of desires, which are then vulnerable, for instance, to mauvaise foi and the corresponding existential pain. Let me elaborate.


What about the rule that one only can desire what is desirable? Now, motivated desires bypass this rule because they are brought about by some external stimuli, for instance I desire food because of my hunger pangs regardless of the actual desirability of food. In other words, I may say I do not like food just now although I want to eat – or I say I need to eat. Motivated desires are, therefore, understood in an externalist perspective. However, if I desire good pink fresh salmon steaks, my motive is internal and the respective perspective internalist. This is because I find such salmon steaks permanently desirable and I believe that they are now available, etc. Here my desires are motivating, not motivated. They are directed according to some desirability considerations and aroused by my beliefs about the kind of food salmon steaks can be and all the pleasure involved. I may imagine them; I may see or smell something that reminds me of their deliciousness.  Anyway, all such factors belong to my inner life, so to speak, or to my cognitive-conative mental system.


The key point is that the Girardian mimetic desires are desires whose desirability is grounded on copying from some models and as such they are motivating desires. If you say that they are not, you are bound to claim they bypass desirability, which does not seem right. My desires copy other people’s desires only in the sense that I find desirable what they see as desirable; otherwise you make Girard a rather crude behaviourist in the sense that the model brings about our desire as if directly or even automatically. But this would not be mimesis, it is causal reproduction. Causation hardly is a mimetic factor. This is to say, I may copy but yet I fail to desire (Melberg, 1995). Suppose I see my model desiring and driving Ferraris and hence I also find Ferrari desirable – but I still do not desire Ferrari because I do not have the money and my family hates such cars. Of course, I may wish I had such a car but that is another thing. Now a Ferrari looks to me like a desirable but impossible-to-get-object. In other words, if we copy desires we will violate the principle that says we cannot desire what is impossible to get.


When a desire is of the motivated type, its source does not form a model that the agent copies, for the following reason. The source of a motivated desire is something that brings it about in a certain externalist way; in other words, the desire runs its course outside and independently of the agent so that she is forced to recognize the desire as something she now possesses. I see a lovely person that motivates my sexual desire in such a way that I find I desire this person as if necessarily. Sex drive works in a compulsive manner. Such a desire is not a copy simply because the agent has no room for copying anything here; on the contrary, he faces his externalist desire, which he might then fight or accept – but this is another matter. Anyway, he desires because of the motivated drive – sexual lust – and the accompanying perceptions and judgements. My idea of attractiveness is in most cases conventional and socially understandable and hence a copy, but my desire emphatically is not. Notice that I can desire a person I do not find attractive at all.


Next, think of motivating desires. I argue they are likely to be copies from a socially provided source. Think of this case: You want to be a good father, which is an excellent idea shared by all good fathers. I find it plausible to say that such a motivating, unconditional desire is a copy. Models are available and much social pressure is directed towards their acceptance. A responsible father wants to be a good father but in order to know what this as such meaningless term means he must turn to some socially available models, which solves the problem of meaning. Now, Girard can be read as saying that such fathers are in an unauthentic situation because they want something that is not their own object of desire but a mere loan from fathers that are better fathers than they are. Such a desire is of the motivating type because it is based on the desirability of its object but then the desirability ascription is a loan. Certainly individual people miss this point or do not care, but en masse they are vulnerable to disappointment and existential angst. They are not happy in their given roles that they may not fit too well.


Let us now suppose that in bad circumstances our available desires are of the motivated type. In that case, I criticise Girard who implies that all desires are of the motivating type, or they are dependent on the copied desirability ascriptions. This explains why his grand theory does not apply to persons in bad circumstances. We also can explain the true difference between what I have called good and bad circumstances of one’s life; in good circumstances a rich variety of motivating desires occur and they invite you to be happy whereas in bad circumstances your desires, or those desires that matter, are of the motivated type. To put it in the language of needs, only the basic needs figure here. It is not the question of how you want your salmon stake to be served but whether you desire food or are able eat it. My final task is to explain why it is plausible to say that bad circumstances are like that. What can be said?


We are interested in this paper in the worst circumstances, because that sharpens the edge of the Socratic paradox of happiness. So, let us focus on the worst cases, such as the locked-in syndrome. Let us also remember the correct modality: I said that you can be happy, not that you will be. When you are happy in bad circumstances, you focus only on your motivated desires that are dictated by your circumstance; for instance, to have someone to touch your or alleviate your pains – both desires are motived and, therefore, not copied. Little room exists for motivating desires in bad circumstances and even less for significant motivating desires. Moreover, a person’s life and fate are fully dependent on motivated desires – this is a characteristic feature of life in bad circumstances. Maybe they are not sufficient conditions of gratification but at least they are necessary. We find the sufficient conditions by saying that most of the motivated desires and some of the motivating desires are focused on resolving some more or less serious worries typical of these bad circumstances and the related sources of anxiety.


Incidentally, when we spell out the implications of the Girard criticism above we notice that a person in bad circumstances may be happier than the one in good circumstances. The simplest possible desire structure is easier to satisfy that a complex one. A lucky person wants some objects an unlucky person wants but also so much more. This is to say, when an unlucky person already is gratified and happy, when his motivated desires are fine, a lucky person thinks his most important motivating desires are still unsatisfied. Nevertheless, it is insane to argue that the lucky person should change places with the unlucky one only to become happier.



Conclusion: The argument streamlined


Let us look into the life and psychology of two persons X and Y. X’s circumstances B are dreadfully bad and Y’s circumstances G are perfectly good. Suppose further that both X and Y are happy. We then have XBH and YBH. Suppose further that XBH desires D1 and YGH desires D2, or XBH(D1) and YGH(D2). This is to say both agents only consider, at this stage, one single desire, when D1 and D2 are different desires – they need not be so but then the case is simpler. Now our problem is, how is XBH possible, how can we explain it?


The solution is simple: XBH desires D1 which is satisfiable even in his dire conditions; let us say it is related to his basic needs and has nothing to do with his ever possible complex and demanding wishes. Here we need to keep in mind that one cannot desire what is impossible to get. Of course, one makes oneself unhappy by pondering some impossible wishes, but we can here bracket out such irrational cases. And one can be made happy by daydreaming, or wish-fulfilment, which again I leave out of the picture. Now XBH desires D1 that she can satisfy – I suppose even in the worst circumstances this is possible – and, therefore, she is happy. When you satisfy your desires you are happy. Suppose the same happens to the lucky YGH and his D2. Both agents are now happy. But happiness ascriptions are not equal: YGH does not want B; XBH suffers from B, that is true, but she has no choice: it does not make sense in his case to say she does not want B. Therefore, XBH can enjoy D1 that makes him happy. XGH’s focus is on D2, whereas XBH cannot even consider D2 that belongs to G. The basic rule seems to be this: if you live in happy circumstances you do not consider such trivialities as basic needs at all but you focus on better things, which are beyond the agents stuck in the worst of circumstances. This is to say, X can be happy as well as Y but Y does not want to have anything to do with the type of happiness X enjoys simply because he finds X’s circumstances aversive and his desires trivial. Y does not want to be happy in the way X is happy; on the contrary, he should prefer unhappiness to happiness. He is lucky and that is more important than happiness.




[1] See, http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/socrates


[2] See, https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20162-most-locked-in-people-are-happy-survey-finds


[3]   See, http://www.chatelaine.com/the-happiness-plan/what-we-can-learn-about-happiness-from-the-slums-of-india


[4] See, http://www.euronews.com/2015/07/02/finland-tops-european-countries-in-latest-happiness-survey.





I am grateful to Dr Heta Gylling (Helsinki) for all her help.



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