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Academic report: Lu Feng, Professor of Philosophy from Tsinghua University Talking about "The Happy Life and Meaning of Life"

On morning of May 19, 2017, invited by Moral Education Research Institute in Nanjing Normal University, philosophy professor Lu Feng from Tsinghua University delivered a lecture titled "happy life and the meaning of life" at room 602 in South Tin Ka Ping Building of Nanjing Normal University Education Science Institute.The report was hosted by director of Moral Education Research Institute in Nanjing Normal University prof. Feng Jianjun. With the arrival of Lu Feng, many doctoral students and master students gathered early in the classroom.

"The meaning of life appears to be selling the theme of the chicken soup, but I want to talk about something on the contrary.I just want to apply some ideas of the important western economists and philosophers to demonstrate the relationship between economic growth and happiness", professor Lu Feng said. The lecture was mainly spread around three aspects: economists’ ideas about the relationship between economic growth and happiness;the happiness that Richard Layard talked about; comments on Layard's happiness theory. In the past, people in the west thought that as the economy grew, more and more people could feel the increase in happiness. Easterlin has put forward the paradox: "when some countries become rich in material and more healthy, the average level of happiness does not increase".Then, some western researches confirmed the "paradox" : since the 1950 s to the early 21st century, western developed societies’ GDP increased more than 2 times, but they are less happy than they were fifty years ago.

Now that economic growth is not necessarily linked to happiness, how do we understand happiness?

Layard held that seven factors that influence happiness are: family relationships, finances, work, community and friends, health, personal freedom and personal values, But prof. Lu Feng does not entirely agree with his views. Professor lu argued that we must first identify three core concepts: pleasure, happiness, and feeling happiness. Pleasure can be measured by measurement methods such as brain science. Many researchers investigate the subjective feeling of happiness in form of questionnaire to. In fact, this kind of results are feelings of happiness, not happiness. Happiness is related to cheer, but not cheer. The happiness as a goal in life is abstract, so people's understanding of happiness will never be the same. So what is happiness in deed and what is happiness related to? Professor Lu believes that happiness is a kind of meaning of life, is the reflection of on the meaning of life in the world we live in.As Socrates put it, "life is not worth living without evaluating". Happiness is often associated with the beliefs we pursue, and largely depended on the inner lives of people.
    After professor Lu Feng Shared his views, the students enthusiastically exchanged their ideas with him. Finally, professor Feng Jianjun made a humorous summary. Professor Feng also talked about his understanding of happiness, and ended the lecture with pleasure.The attending students have also said that this report of poem and the distance was quite valuable.