Aristotle, Aquinas, and Seligman on happiness

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What exactly is happiness? Ancient philosophers like Aristotle and medieval theologians like Thomas Aquinas have wrestled with this perennial question. A leading figure of contemporary positive psychology, Martin Seligman (2011), proposes that happiness, which he also calls flourishing and well-being, involves five different elements: Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement (PERMA). I consider in this paper how PERMA does and does not accord with the notion of happiness given by Aristotle (1984) and Aquinas (1975, 2012).


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Kaczor, Christopher. “Aristotle, Aquinas, and Seligman on Happiness.” Journal of Psychology and Christianity, vol. 34, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 196–205.