The third of four ‘Tetley Talks’ on the theme of ‘What does it mean to be human?’
Human happiness has been a concern since Ancient Greece. And the ‘pursuit of happiness’ has been seen as a fundamental human right since the French and American Revolutions. However, it is only in recent years that happiness has become an object of government policy: in the UK with the establishment of the National Well-being Project in 2010, and the first ‘Happiness Survey’ in 2012. But why has happiness become an issue? Does it reflect a real and growing problem of unhappiness in contemporary society; maybe driven by our consumerist culture and the pace of 21st Century life? Or does it reflect our more emotional times, both underpinned by, and encouraging, a ‘vulnerable’ model of human functioning?