Carabelli, A. (2019), “Keynes’s Aristotelian Eudaimonic Conception of Happiness and the Requirement of Material and Institutional Preconditions: The Scope for Economics and Economic Policy”, Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, 53(2): 213-226.
Keynes’s notion of happiness is connected with Greek tragedy, with moral and rational dilemmas, i.e with indecision and uncertainty. It is associated with virtue: a virtuous man is a happy man. Keynes’s ethics is an ethics of virtues. It emphasises the importance of friendship, moral emotions and pays precise attention to the contextual particularity of right action. A good life is a life worth being lived, that is a moral life. Keynes accepts the Aristotelian notion of the good and happy life. His notion of happiness recalls Aristotle’s happiness (“eudaimonia”). For Keynes, speculative ethics deals with final ends, intrinsic values and happiness. While practical ethics deals with conduct and means. In his ethics, Keynes makes a distinction between good as instrument (practical ethics) and good in itself (speculative ethics). Economics and politics belong to good as instrument, as a means. The difference is between ends and means, between the good and the useful. Solving the economic problem” is only a transitory phase: it is merely a precondition – a means – for facing the ‘real’ ethical problems, which, for Keynes, concern with the achievement of a good and happy life. Solving the economic problem (the satisfaction of the individuals’ material needs) is a material precondition for happiness. Keynes is in line with Aristotle’s view on the material requirements for happiness: a starving or an unemployed person cannot be happy.
Felice, E. (2019), “Broadening the Scope of Economic History: How Happiness Has Changed over the Long Period and its Relationship with Economics”, Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, 53(2): 173-192.