Why is there no "happiness"ology? It seems that throughout history philosophy
A few, but only a few, words on two 19th-century philosophers: Jeremy Bentham and his disciple, who went off in his own, individual direction, John Stuart Mill. Both were utilitarians, and believed in the moral principle: "the greatest happiness for the greatest number." But they understood "happiness" differently. Bentham took it hedonistically: happiness (the good, the summum bonum) is pleasure. Sexual pleasure is a paradigm of the good in this sense: exquisite and exhilarating sensations. There are others: eating, sleeping, playing sports--all fun things. Mill thought that there were lower and higher pleasures: bodily, sensual pleasures, and the pleasures of the mind. These include, for example, reading a poem and enjoying its beauty. For Bentham, "pushpin is as good as poetry," that poetry was good only when and because it could produce sensations similar in kind to the bodily. Not so for Mill, who thought that these pleasures were qualitatively different (and only those who experienced both kinds could pronounce on their relative value). Mill thought that a full human life, one that exhibited what flourishing is for a human, would include both kinds of happinesses. He also thought: it is better to be a philosopher [Socrates] dissatisfied [grouchy, in part] than a pig satisfied. I still haven't decided whether Mill was right about that. Philosophers would tend to say such a thing, wouldn't they?