Unhappy Consciousness: The (Im)Possibilities of Happiness in Hegel, Adorno, and Badiou

Jeremy De Chavez1 & Jan Alain Villegas2

1Department of Literature, De La Salle University, Manila, Orcid: 0000-0003-0320-372X. Email:

2Department of Political Science, De La Salle University, Manila.

Volume 8, Number 4, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n4.06

Received October 14, 2016; Revised December 10, 2016; Accepted December 12, 2016; Published January 14, 2017

Dominant approaches to the study of happiness have primarily tended to be oriented towards the maximization of happiness. This drive toward maximization has entailed looking for ways to quantify and consequently measure the levels of happiness in individuals as well as in social groups. This paper, which represents an initial inquiry into the critical study of happiness, insists on the irreducible and finally profoundly subjective dimension of happiness. Drawing on the work of G.W.F Hegel, Theodor Adorno, and Alain Badiou, this essay attempts to formulate a theoretical framework that would be able to advance a legitimate critique on happiness, a concept that has for the most part evaded criticism, and suggests that the insights drawn from those aforementioned thinkers offer meaningful entry points through which a thorough inquiry of happiness might be pursued.
Keywords: Happiness, Affect, Adorno, Hegel, Badiou

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