David Hume, Don Draper, and a happy conclusion

(But of course “nothing has concluded, that we may conclude in regard to it.”)

Older Daughter’s home from college, Younger Daughter’s wrapping up her High School year , and Don Draper’s been to Esalen. Changes abound. Forward!

I’m looking forward in particular to the return of Happiness class in August, and to a new David Hume independent readings class. Decided we’ll begin the former with Daniel Haybron’s Very Short Introduction, which skims his most impressive earlier and denser Pursuit of Unhappiness.

What is happiness, anyway, and what really matters in life? What should our
priorities be? Consider your own case. You are, let us suppose, on your
deathbed. What from your life would you most like to have just one more
experience of?*

Umm (or do I mean Omm, Don?)… Mad Men? Maybe not. But it was fun while it lasted, those seven years that spanned the decade of my own most formative years. Coke was it, in 1971.

David Hume has been falsely maligned on the Internet by cuckoos who want to picture him and everyone like him (which would include myself and my impending Hume CoPhilosophers) “in flames.” In fact, as Darwin’s Bulldog Huxley observed, his exit was as placid and composed as Don’s meditation, “one of the most cheerful, simple, and most dignified leave-takings of life and all its concerns, extant.”

So, a toast to Le Bon David and to a happy life! (And to Don, who should drink more Coke and less liquor, and who never really believed in happiness.)

*To answer Professor Haybron’s question: I’d like the experience of one more semester, please. But first, one more summer. And one more chorus.

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