We all agree that happiness is something we want, even if there has never been much agreement about what makes us happy. But as Dan Russell explains, there has also been an important shift in why we talk about happiness in the first place. When “happiness” comes up in discussion today, it’s usually because the discussion is about a feeling. In ancient Greek philosophy, however, “happiness” came up when the discussion was about a future—a practical discussion about what kind of life to give oneself and what kinds of things to live for. Since that discussion is as important today as it has ever been, Russell explores this ancient tradition in search of new directions for contemporary thought about the good lives we want for ourselves and for others.

Listen to Dan here.

Dan’s lecture is part of a lecture series organized by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at University of Arizona. The one-hour lectures, presented by UA faculty, will be held on Wednesday evenings for five consecutive weeks in October and November at the Fox Theater. Dan will cap a series of talks on the connection between social factors such as age, religiosity or marital status and happiness, on whether compassion leads to happiness, on how our physical environment, and our experienced through each of the senses affects our feelings of happiness, and the evolutionary link between happiness and exercise.