Transcendental Phenomenology and the Way to Happiness: Husserl’s Reply to Csikszentmihalyi

Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 49 (2):126-138 (2018)
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ABSTRACTIt is an unprecedented task to interpret Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology as a fundamental philosophy of happiness. Although happiness has been discussed in many psychologies, Csikszentmihalyi’s positive psychology defines happiness as “flow”, a psychic state of ongoing immersion guided by intrinsic motivations and rewards. In this paper, I interpret our transcendental consciousness as a radical “flow” maker and claim that in our transcendental life, happiness is what we ourselves are. Then, I propose this not only as an appeal to a change of attitude for happiness, but also as a deep hermeneutics of the mental skills and activity designs suggested by positive psychology. In this way, worldly happiness dictums can be profoundly re-examined. Understood as such, Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology leaves us the task of how to make a concrete form of qualitative or hermeneutical research on happiness out of it.



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