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Gustavo Bueno

The Happiness Delusion
Debunking the Myth of Happiness

Translated by Brendan Burke
Revised by Lino Camprubí and Javier Pérez Jara

Pentalfa, Oviedo 2019

ISBN 9788478486168 -vegetal- 155×235 mm · 382 págs.
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Challenging the received wisdom surrounding the term “happiness”, the Spanish philosopher Gustavo Bueno (1924-2016) sets his critical eye on the mass of literature bought and sold on highly dubious assumptions. With his trademark erudition and precision, Bueno breaks down the ignorance feeding into these assumptions, laying out a classification of the incompatible and often unconscious models in play.

In doing so, he deploys his system of philosophy - philosophical materialism - to comprehensively shred the Western canon, history and science to lay the foundations for a much better informed understanding of “happiness”.

This translation brings to an English-language audience the first book-length translation of the work of one of Spain’s leading philosophers over the last 50 years, one whose system of philosophy has influenced countless thinkers in Spain and abroad.

Gustavo Bueno - The Happiness Delusion. Debunking the Myth of Happiness

Translated by Brendan Burke

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Introduction. On this book's position in the whole of the literature on happiness, 5

Chapter One. The field of happiness

§1. On the term “field” in general, 35

§2. General structure of the field of happiness: five strata, 45

§3. Stratum I, phenomena of happiness, 53

§4. Stratum II, concepts of happiness, 67

§5. Stratum III, ideas of happiness, 84

§6. Stratum IV (theories) and stratum V (doctrines) of the field of happiness, 86

§7. Remarks on the nature of the unity of the field of happiness as analyzed in this chapter, 87

Chapter 2. Concepts of happiness and ideas of happiness

§1. General approach to concepts and ideas, 91

§2. Concepts and ideas of happiness, 107

§3. Transition from the plane of concepts to the plane of ideas, 121

Chapter 3. Theories of happiness and doctrines of happiness

§1. The distinction between theories and doctrines in general, 141

§2. The application of the distinction between theories and doctrines to the field of happiness, 147

§3. Theories of happiness, 155

§4. Types of theories of happiness, 165

§5. Doctrines of happiness and the related types, 170

Chapter 4. Twelve general models of conceptions of happiness

§1. Conceptions of the universe related and unrelated to happiness, 187

§2. A classification based on twelve general models of “conceptions of happiness”, 188

§3. Model I. Descending assertive spiritualism, 194

§4. Model II. Ascending assertive spiritualism, 231

§5. Model III. Neutral assertive spiritualism, 234

§6. Model IV. Absolute processist spiritualism, 238

§7. Model V. Ascending absolute spiritualism. Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s version of the “idealism of freedom”, 251

§8. Model VI. Neutral absolute spiritualism, 259

§9. Model VII. Descending unitary materialism, 261

§10. Model VIII. Progressionist materialist monism, 264

§11. Model IX. Neutral materialist monism, 270

§12. Model X. Descending pluralist materialism, 290

§13. Model XI. Ascending pluralist materialism, 291

§14. Model XII. Neutral pluralist materialism, 293

Chapter 5. Crushing the happiness principle

§1. Crushing the happiness principle as the main objective of this book, 305

§2. Two versions of the happiness principle, 307

§3. The happiness principle from the logical and gnoseological point of view, 315

§4. Logical analysis of the happiness principle as to its propositional structure, 317

§5. Gnoseological analysis of the happiness principle, 345

§6. On the logical mechanism generating the happiness principle, 349

§7. Who are the men who stand outside the happiness principle? Koyaanisqatsi, 355

Final. Beyond the happiness principle, 365

Translator's Note, 379