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Edited by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta
Chapter 9: Enjoyment of Life, the Structure of Time and Economic Dynamics
Mario Cogoy 1. Introduction: happiness and enjoyment This chapter will examine enjoyment of life1 as a contribution to happiness. Enjoyment and happiness are diﬃcult goals to attain, and require a considerable amount of eﬀort. Although enjoyment and happiness are closely related, there are also important diﬀerences between the two. Enjoyment is ﬁrmly rooted in the process of action: an activity can be enjoyed while it is taking place and enjoyment will fade away when the activity is coming to an end. Enjoyment is therefore intimately related to, and inseparable from, time. It is also unstable by nature, since it can easily turn into its opposite at the slightest disturbance. Happiness is more robust and more comprehensive than enjoyment and reﬂects a general feeling of a person about the overall quality of his/her life. Happiness is a less action-orientated and a more self-reﬂexive state of the mind. It summarizes past experience in a non-trivial way and for this reason it may also be plausibly argued that a person is unlikely to be happy if he/she has not experienced sadness and depression in previous periods of his/her life. Although happiness and enjoyment are diﬀerent things, I shall adopt an activity-orientated view of happiness in this chapter. A ‘good life’ is an active life and enjoyment in action is therefore one of the main constituent materials out of which happiness is made. All kinds of activities require time, and therefore enjoyment also requires time, since no pleasure...
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