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Happiness and Pleasure in European Thought

The Medieval View

Medieval discussions of happiness link discussions of happiness with proximity to or contemplation of the divine. Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430 C.E.) follows the Greeks in emphasizing that all men desire happiness but makes a distinction between fleeting forms of happiness found in earthly existence and true happiness, which is found in the divine. Most human beings mistake hedonic forms of happiness for true happiness, which comes only from proximity to God. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1224–1274) agrees, following Aristotle's discussion of final ends, adding that happiness consists in the operation of speculative rather than practical intellect, which in turn leads one to the divine.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Habit memory: to HeterodontHappiness and Pleasure in European Thought - The Hellenistic Era, The Medieval View, Modern Views On Happiness, Act Utilitarianism, Rule Utilitarianism