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|

Brexit Or Bremain? A Happiness Analysis

Reading time: 4-5 minutes

As far as I can tell, no one has tried to work out if being in or out will make us happier. This isn’t terribly surprising: if you think you know the answers to the questions surround sovereignty, the economy and immigration, you […]

June 16th, 2016|

If you had a billion pounds and an urge to maximise world happiness, what should you do?

What should a billionaire do to maximise human happiness?

Reading time: 11-14 minutes

[Note to reader. This is a draft 5,000-word essay that will eventually form a chapter in my thesis. I’ve cut corners on some important issues to save space and I’ve had to signpost that I would […]

May 5th, 2016|

Becoming Depressed Was The Worst And Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me

I wrote an article for The Tab – I had depression, now I study a PhD in happiness at Oxford University – published 29/04/2016


These days, if people meet me again and can’t remember my name, they tend to say, “oh, wait, aren’t you the happiness guy?”. It’s an apt description: […]

April 29th, 2016|

How To Life A Happy Life – Interview With University Of Oxford

I was recently interviewed as part of Oxford’s How To Life A Happy Life, one of their Research In Conversation series. The link is here. There are some super interviews by actual philosophers like Jeff McMahan and Will MacAskill.

Here’s an excerpt:

‘If you […]

April 29th, 2016|

Can We Make The World Happier? If So, How?

[Note to reader: this is a 2,000 word philosophy essay, rather than a easy-read blog post. It’s a work in progress, and comments very welcome]

Reading time: 10 minutes

In this paper I argue the typical answers people give to the above question, such as economic growth, improvements in healthcare, technology and education […]

January 26th, 2016|

Need a new New Year’s Resolution? Teach yourself to be happier in 12 minutes a day

It’s a New Year. This means, for a limited period only, it’s acceptable to tell strangers about our grand plans to win at life: how we’re going to be doing daily 5am runs, refusing alcohol, campaigning for human rights and starting(/finishing) that book we’re working on.

Whilst we’d usually frown on […]

January 5th, 2016|
I’m Michael Plant. I’m doing a PhD in Moral Philosophy at Oxford University. I research the most-effective ways to improve world happiness. I use ths blog to share my poorly-formed ideas.

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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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