Devonomics

Devonomics

It is difficult to answer questions about how Nigeria can and should achieve sustainable economic, social and political growth. This column takes a look at well known development economic theories and applies them to the unique Nigerian context.

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Happiness & The Good Life

Martha Sambe

Martha Sambe

Martha is a graduate of Development Economics and International Cooperation from the University of Rome, Tor Vergata. She enjoys writing and researching topics in development, sociology, and religion.

Happiness is a concept that has sparked conversation and debate right from the dawn of time, yet it somehow manages to elude many of us. For instance, there is no simple answer to the question: ‘What is happiness?’ Instead, we have many loose ideas of what happiness is, and how exactly we can be happy. But while the concept might be elusive, the feeling is immediately recognisable. People know when they are happy, and this sort of knowledge could form a basis for assessing human welfare.

Like happiness, the concept of the 'good life' has been interpreted in many ways. At times, it is used interchangeably with happiness. However, is a good life a happy one, or, is a happy life the good life? What implications would this have for using happiness as a measure of welfare?

 

The Richer, the Better. Or Not

For many of us, our ideas about happiness have been shaped by the media and cultural habits, rather than through self-reflection or examination. In our post-industrialist world where human consumption is at an all-time high,  the idea of the good life might seem quite obvious. We usually consider wealthy and successful people to be living good lives, and this has some philosophical basis. Even Aristotle who gives the simplest explanation about what the good life is agrees that it consists of pleasure and wealth, among other things. 

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