Happiness and Liberation: Economics Beyond Self

Laszlo Zsolnai gave a keynote lecture on "Happiness and Liberation: Economics Beyond Self" at the International Happiness Day conference on March 20, 2015 at the University of Turin in Italy. (VIS_Conference_2015.pdf) He discussed the conception of happiness in Aristotle and Buddhism and emphasized the importance of spirituality in achieving lasting happiness.

He also explored the ways of liberation in contemporary economic context. He suggested that liberation in economic life may involve different strategies. The most important of these liberating strategies are (i) Frugality: downscaling the material aspect of living, (ii) Detachment from money-making and markets, and (iii) Sharing: involvement in collaborative, community-oriented economic activities. The core of liberation is going beyond the self and embracing wholeness: care and compassion for all living beings. This provides ultimate happiness.

Happiness Day lecture.pdf