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Transcendental phenomenology and the way to happiness

Husserl's reply to Csikszentmihalyi

Kyeong-Seop Choi

pp. 126-138

It is an unprecedented task to interpret Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology as a fundamental philosophy of happiness. Although happiness has been discussed in many psychologies, Csikszentmihalyi’s positive psychology defines happiness as “flow”, a psychic state of ongoing immersion guided by intrinsic motivations and rewards. In this paper, I interpret our transcendental consciousness as a radical “flow” maker and claim that in our transcendental life, happiness is what we ourselves are. Then, I propose this not only as an appeal to a change of attitude (i.e. reduction) for happiness, but also as a deep hermeneutics of the mental skills and activity designs suggested by positive psychology. In this way, worldly happiness dictums can be profoundly re-examined. Understood as such, Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology leaves us the task of how to make a concrete form of qualitative or hermeneutical research on happiness out of it.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1080/00071773.2018.1431007

Full citation:

Choi, K.-S. (2018). Transcendental phenomenology and the way to happiness: Husserl's reply to Csikszentmihalyi. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 49 (2), pp. 126-138.

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