Conceptions of Happiness and the Public Good

Conceptions of Happiness and the Public Good.

I’m stuck on a English question and need an explanation.

Read the following two articles and take notes. Then, respond to the prompts, below.

THE two articles are added as a PDF

PART ONE: Choose ONE article to summarize. Include all components of a summary.

Summaries succinctly explain the key points authors make, including only those authors’ ideas. View Shaun McLeod’s short video and take notes about what to include in your summaries.

Each summary should –

  • Begin with the author and title of the work you’re summarizing.
  • Include the main claim or primary point the author is making.
  • Include the key supporting points the author uses to support their primary claim
  • Carefully explain each idea so that a reader who hasn’t read the source text can understand it.
  • Not include your own ideas or analysis because summaries contain only the source author’s ideas.

PART TWO: Respond to the following reading questions for BOTH articles.

  • Length: 200-300 words per EACH response.
  • When responding, quote from the text, using signal phrases, in-text citations, and explanation.
  • Introduce the author by using her profession and full name the first time and only her last name afterward (in responses to BOTH articles).
  • Use the present tense (Kennedy Townsend urges…, Kennedy finds… ) when referring to ideas and past tense when referring to things that physically happened in history (Kennedy was assassinated.).
  • Note: Articles were written by daughter of former US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and attorney Kathleen Kennedy Townsend,in The Atlantic.

1. “What Makes Life Worthwhile? GDP Won’t Tell You” – Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, The Atlantic

      • Respond to all parts of the following prompt.
        • Explain the uses and limitations of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as understood by Robert Kennedy and by attorney Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
          • Make sure your reader knows who “is speaking” by including signal phrases, quotations or paraphrases, in-text citations, and explanation.
          • If important to the ideas you’re explaining, include details like the years when words were spoken (in 1968 or 2011), and in what contexts (in a university speech or The Atlantic). Don’t “stick in” these details abruptly and without a good reason. They should flow with the logic of what you’re writing, as they do in Kennedy Townsend’s article.
        • Next, identify passages in the article that discuss how happiness is used by some countries as a measure of success and draft your own position, using the following questions as a guide:
          • Is happiness a useful yardstick (way to measure) the success of a nation? Why or why not?
          • Should the US include a holistic happiness measure like “Gross National Happiness” into it’s decision-making? Why or why not? (If you were raised or are very knowledgeable about another country, you can answer this question about that country.)

2. “The Pursuit of Happiness- What the Founders Meant—And Didn’t” – Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, The Atlantic

Counterargument and Debate:

Arguments are important because they help to test and further our thinking and knowledge. Debate (civil, informed disagreement) is at the heard of an argument. Without a disagreement, there’s no argument. Therefore, it’s very important to identify disagreements in the texts we read.

        • Read “The Pursuit of Happiness- What the Founders Meant—And Didn’t” and analyze the ideas of Robert Kennedy and Ronald Reagan related to the purpose of life.
          • According to your analysis, what is one important difference between Kennedy’s and Reagan’s understanding of the purpose of life?
          • Which vision is most likely to lead to a happy life, according to your view and interpretation?
          • Consider a key attitude or idea from the Greeks or US revolutionaries as explained in the article . Analyze this and share how you think this attitude or idea could help citizens become happier – or – that you think would not result in happier citizens. Explain the attitude and your view.
          • According to your view, does participation in public (civic) activities likely to make people happier? Why or why not?
          • Is there a source (book or article) listed in the article that might be useful to read? if so, which one and why?

          PART THREE

        • take a look at the ideas, below, and respond to whether any of the following interests you. Do you have another idea? This response is loose and casual.
      • Happiness and Societal Forces like Social Media, Artificial Intelligence
      • Happiness and Identity Positions, like Race, Gender, LGBTQ+
      • Happiness and Immigration
      • Happiness and Environmental or Political Threat
      • Alternative ways to interpret happiness data
      • Climate change and happiness
      • Cultural erosion & happiness
      • Does happiness need to be added to Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Is it embedded already without using the word, or does it not necessarily have a place there?
      • Does public engagement lead to greater happiness? Kennedy Townsend cites a study, but the link is inactive.
      • The value of GNH in countries. Is it useful? Should the US adopt one? (Has it/some group done this already?)
      • Is it the responsibility of the government to create conditions where people can pursue happiness? (Schlesinger’s Article: The Lost Meaning of Happiness…)

Conceptions of Happiness and the Public Good

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