Summary of “Happiness: The Three Traditional Theories”

The writers, Mr. Seligman and Mr. Royzman introduce three traditional theories about happiness, Hedonism Theory, Desire Theory and Objective List Theory, and one modern theory, Authentic Happiness.

Hedonism Theory is more purely about the original feeling of happiness. This theory tends to be a systematic way to calculate happiness that happened in a period of, by simply adding them up. Hedonism focuses more on the subjective happiness, and regardless of the pain that might also occurred. Desire Theory, which is different from Hedonism Theory, emphasis the feeling of achievement and fulfilment. It is also a subjective way to summarise happiness according to one’s desire. But in this theory, the feeling of pleasure is not important anymore. Satisfaction is regarded more, even if people might experience more pain than pleasure. Objective list theory judges happiness in a more objective way, which might consist of the true event that happened in the real world. This theory isolates personal feelings, includes the original happiness and the achievement of desire. The final theory, Authentic Happiness summarises the three traditional theories, divides happiness into three kinds: the Pleasant Life, the Good life, and the Meaningful Life. It covers the shortage of each theory and distinct happiness in a more systematic way.

Happiness bases on human being’s feeling, which has a different judgement according to different person. The Hedonism Theory emphasis the pleasure, instead of the pain. It shows that the pleasure and pain are not equal in an emotional standard, which is not right. The Desire Theory covers the pain as long as the pleasure, but it moves out from just simply happiness. Objective List Theory is more suitable for a group of people instead of individuals. If a person’s happiness is totally focus on others and absolutely no parts of self, then it is not possible. So the Authentic Happiness demonstrates a more detailed and complete theory for happiness, both subjective and objective.






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Chinese Jasmine Revolution

On the 20th of February this year, activists appealed all the Chinese citizens to silently gather up in different cities inside or outside of China, to protest the autocracy by Chinese Communist Party. The activity is held every week at a specific day and time. People who support it doesn’t need to make any announcement or propaganda, but silently stand together so police cannot arrest them. Because this activity happened straight after the Tunisian revolution, most of the media call it Chinese Jasmine Revolution.

After the activities happened, the Chinese government cleaned all the internet resources which contains the words “Jasmine” and “Revolution” to shut the news. As a Chinese myself, I dislike the way the Chinese government solve problems. And this “Jasmine Revolution” expose the constrained emotion that was covered in this society, which presents this reactionary movement. This has been a quite a complex situation. China is a country which contains huge amount of people and Chinese communist party have spent decades to create a new social system for them. Maybe it is not as free and developed as other capitalism countries in the world, however, the financial development is rapid. If people overthrow this government,the situation would like what Muammar Gaddafi said: “his own absolute power or chaos.”

I can see how people feel about Chinese government. If the government continues suppressing instead of listening, the mine will explode anytime from now on. Taiwan, which has a sensitive relationship with Chinese government, shows their support to this activity.

“Taiwan’s insistence on democracy and human rights are the country’s most valuable assets and represent the foundations of the party’s development.” Tsai said. “In the face of the great challenges from China, the DPP will protect the values of Taiwan and support jasmine revolutions across China and Middle East” she said.

(“Taiwan opposition chief voices support for ‘Chinese Jasmine Revolution’.” BBC Monitoring International Reports 21 Feb. 2011. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 Mar. 2011.)

This presents another pressure given to Chinese government. The beliefs from these two different parties are the main reasons the conflicts exist. Taiwan’s determination to freedom and human rights shows official defence from some parts of Chinese. The strength which comes from people cannot be ignored, Chinese government should really solve the problem, not just cover it.

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Is silence possible

The definition of “Silence” is the relative or total lack of sound. In spirituality silence is used as a metaphor for inner stillness. This states that silence can present in different situation. The feeling  that silence brought to people was emphasised especially when light sounds created. However, the silence inside human being is not so easy to recognise.

People can use silence to express several emotions: pain, injustice, afraid, pretending, lie, etc. In the movie The Silence of Lambs, silence contents a variety of complex humanities in the society. Silence can go as deep as sounds, even the corners which sound could never reach. If people say the communication can be created by sounds, then silence might be the door to shut it. A private space created waiting for more profound emotions fit in to make individual personalities.

Silence can happen on anyone, but the way people handle it can leads to unique sequels. For actors on the stage, silence not only left space and time to audience to think, also create the alienation effects, magnifies the inner conflicts and frustration. To human beings, silence weights the same as the ability to think. We need silence to expend our personalities, to fill the emptiness that sounds might leave. When people stop talking, silence is created, followed by the thoughts and consideration about the topic. Silence provides time and room to let people develop imagination and logical sense, that is also why people need silence so much in our life.

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Summary of “The decline of the English Department”

Summary Of “The Decline of the English Department: How it happened and what could be done to reverse it” By William M. Chace

William M. Chace discussed the number of young men and women majoring in English  department in his article “The decline of the English Department”. As a  professor in Berkeley, Stanford, Wesleyan, and Emory, and served as president of the last two, he explores the reasons why the decline happened among English and other subjects such as philosophy, foreign languages, art history. And how to change the situation from now on.

Mr. Chace believes that there are several reasons lead to the decline, but the root is the filler of departments of English across the country. What the department did, distanced themselves from young people.

Then there are external reasons: the rise of public education, the relative youth and instability of English as a discipline, financial reasons, and the focus of modern university has shifted.

Internal reasons are: the departments have not responded energetically and resourcefully to the decline situation, no sense of duty remains toward works of English subjects.

According to these causes, Mr. Chace thinks about few ways to reverse this situation: Change the rules and  give more space allow students to create. Activity ——— partly aesthetic and partly detective-like, it can bring more fun to the subject. To pull teachers and students more closer.

In this article, William M. Chace established the situations of English in nowadays society and strengthen his opinion that it is not acceptable. Few different ways were provided to save this situation.

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