The demand for happiness advice is vast and many different thinkers have offered their views. This special issue presents a cross section of happiness counseling through the ages and considers the advice by classic Chinese philosophers, Epicurus, Schopenhauer, as well as contemporary New Age thinkers and self-help authors. The papers follow three leading questions: 1) What is recommended for leading a happy life? 2) How does this advice fit in the worldview of the author and into a social, cultural and historical context? 3) Are the recommendations in line with what is known about the conditions of happiness? There are common themes in advice for a happy life but also much contradiction, and some honoured philosophers offer advice that can harm happiness if it is taken to heart by present day readers.

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Journal of Happiness Studies
Department of Sociology

Bergsma, A. (2008). The advice of the wise : IIIIntroduction to the special issue on advice for a happy life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9(3), 331–340. doi:10.1007/s10902-006-9040-3