The Unproven (And Unprovable) Case For Wild Animal Suffering

5,467 words.

Abstract

I’ve been surprised to learn recently that so many people I know in the effective altruism community believe there is more total suffering than happiness in the lives of wild animals. Brian Tomasik appears to be the main current proponent of this view, developing the work done by economist […]

November 25th, 2016|

Learning To Love The Rain

People hate rain. You don’t need to ask them. You can just tell. Brollys go up and eyes down as people hurriedly dodge puddles on their way to the nearest plane, train or automobile that’ll trundle them home at the end of a hard day’s grind.

I don’t hate the rain. […]

October 18th, 2016|

Is The Pursuit Of Happiness Self-Defeating?

A couple of friends asked me for my thoughts on this Vox article “America is obsessed with happiness — and it’s making us miserable” so I thought I’d blog about it.

It’s tricky to discern exactly what the author is arguing for (she makes several points), but I take the main point […]

October 11th, 2016|

4 Reasons Almost All Happiness Advice Sucks (But Not This Article, Obviously)

[You haven’t found the droids you were looking for]

Reading time: 3-5 minutes, 1200 words, 5 pics, only one of a topless Arnold Schwarzenegger

Realistically, I’d be surprised if there are a dozen people in the world who spend more time reading and thinking about happiness than I do. Unsurprisingly, I come across […]

September 24th, 2016|

The Surprising Unimportance Of Saving Lives

Reading time: 11-15 minutes

When we think about doing good, saving lives is at the top of the list. Doctors, firefighters and Batmen are regarded as heroes because they save lives. We give soldiers medals for rescuing wounded comrades. As far as I know, we don’t award medals for ‘really […]

September 19th, 2016|

How Socrates Can Make You Happier Than Kanye West – notes from Wilderness talk

I’ve written this post so people who attended my talk at Wilderness festival on 05/08/16 can find more info including the resources I promised.

If you want to check out the slides again, I’ve put them at the bottom of the page. Before that, there are some useful links.

If you want […]

August 5th, 2016|

Why Aristotle’s eudaimonia isn’t ‘A better kind of happiness’. A critical reply to the New Yorker

Writing in the New Yorker, Will Storr argues Aristotle offers us “A better kind of happiness“.

To summarise his argument, Will claims Aristotle’s ‘eudaimonic’ version of happiness, the sort you get from doing things you find meaningful or fulfilling, is better than the ‘hedonic’ version, the sort we associate with pleasure. The killer evidence […]

July 30th, 2016|

Four free ways to become happier you probably haven’t tried and might actually work

In this post I suggest the best resources I’ve come across so far. I think these are the most promising practical methods to become happier and everyone should try them.

As a really brief explanation of my views, I think there are three general approaches to increasing your happiness:

1. Changing your external circumstances (i.e. […]

July 24th, 2016|
I’m Michael Plant. I research happiness for a PhD in Philosophy at Oxford. I’m CEO of Hippo, the FitBit for your mind. In this blog I mostly write my thoughts on how we can make ourselves and others happier.

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As a consequence of trying to simultaneously start a start-up and finish a PhD, I don’t have much spare time, including for this blog. However, if you have an opportunity or introduction you think could increase world (or my) joy, please email me at the address below. For the reasons stated above, I can only promise to respond to suggestions that fit my current schedule and interests.

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