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Philosophy of Happiness

Date: Time: 13:00 Location: Zwijsen building (Tilburg University)

What exactly is happiness? A question that philosophers have pondered about for centuries. During this interactive program we will do this again, as we focus on the question whether we can even know how happy we are. (English / SG-Certificate*)

Time: 13:00-14:00 hrs.  Doors open from 12:45 hrs.
Admission is free, no registration required.

Can we know how happy we are?

Something about this question is silly: when you are happy, you’ll know it. However, when we ask how happy we are, we often want to know how happy we are compared to something else: how happy are we compared to others? How happy am I compared to how happy I was in the past, or can be in the future? How happy are you compared to the person sitting next to you?

How happy are you?

Questions that are hard to answer, because people’s responses to the question “How happy are you?” remain roughly similar across time, despite increased economic prosperity, increased health and life expectancy, and increased safety. To what extent does this mean that people are just as happy as they were, or to what extent does it mean that people’s standards have shifted? Perhaps we are happier, but are unable to see it?

Discussing happiness

Philosopher Willem van der Deijl-Kloeg will discuss his view on these and other philosophical questions about happiness. We will then open the floor for an interactive discussion with the audience, guided by inspiring philosophical questions and statements. This event takes place during “The Dutch Happiness week”, the annual theme week around the International Day of Happiness (March 20).


Willem van der Deijl-Kloeg is assistant Professor of (Business) Ethics at Tilburg University. He obtained his PhD in Philosophy and Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam and now teaches Philosophy at Tilburg University. His main interests lie in the concepts of wellbeing and happiness in economics and ethics, as he looks into the question whether social sciences can measure our wellbeing and what role this should it play in our public and private choices. 

Willem van der Deijl-Kloeg

More information

This lecture is organized by Studium Generale in cooperation with Dutch Happiness Week.

Contact: Hannah van den Bosch (Studium Generale).

* For students, this lecture may count towards the SG-Certificate. Check the SG-Certificate website for all the terms and conditions. 


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