This NY Times blog post about investigations of happiness highlights the split between science and philosophy. It’s an easy read, and the discussion mirrors the heart and head dilemmas with which we all tussle. As a humanist, I find comforting the conclusion that science must ultimately resolve in profundity. Gutting writes, “Psychologist should recognize this and give up the pretension that empirical investigations alone can answer the big questions about happiness. Philosophers and other humanists, in turn, should be happy to welcome psychologists into their world.”
I take issue, however, with his claim on the world for our team. It’s not just scientists who need to make an existential migration. The world itself belongs to everyone present in it. Indeed, this shared reality is what fuels our intellectual tantrums in the first place. It is irritating to smart people to be both right and incomplete. Accepting our tied fate may just be the key to intellectual happiness, like knowing how to live with one’s own heart and mind.