Author Archives: Tony Armstrong

About Tony Armstrong

Professor of political science at Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. Author of Educating Angels: Teaching for the Pursuit of Happiness

My Happiness Class Lectures are on YouTube!

Happiness Class Lecture 1: Introduction Happiness Class Lecture 2: Perspectives on the Nature of Happiness Happiness Class Lecture 3: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Happiness Happiness Class Lecture 4: The Biology and Psychology of Feelings Happiness Class Lecture 5: Hedonic … Continue reading

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New Book: Teaching a Happiness Class

I taught a course called Happiness at Wesley College every semester since 2013. I offered multiple sections every semester since 2017. In Fall 2019 I published a new book explaining what I teach in the course. It is available on … Continue reading

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What Is Love?

Love is generally considered the most desired experience, the most fulfilling feeling.  Yet it is not love that compels us.  It is the yearning for love that compels us, a yearning that springs from the perception of love denied.  We … Continue reading

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TEDx Talk: Happiness Education

Happiness Education: TEDx Talk, Wilmington, Delaware, August 6 2014   Link: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Happiness-Education-%7C-Anthony-A;search%3Ahappiness%20education   Empowering students’ pursuit of happiness should be the explicit primary purpose of education.  This is the most moral purpose of education, and the most in keeping with … Continue reading

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Teaching Values By Fostering Appreciation

How we regard and treat others is the practical heart of morality. Treating others well is the common attribute of favored virtues, preferred values, moral codes, and systems of ethics. Behavior that benefits others is the practical expectation of most … Continue reading

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Happiness Is a Feeling

Saying happiness is a feeling may seem too obvious to need saying, but it does. Quite a few people either flatly disagree or insist the observation is only partly true. Some agree with Aristotle that “eudaimonia,” translated as happiness, is … Continue reading

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The Vital Heart of Liberal Education

What is the value of liberal education?  The most insightful answer is found in the foremost theory of subjective value in the history of philosophy.  Aristotle’s observation that happiness is the only “self-sufficient” end, for all we do is for the sake … Continue reading

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Moral Motive

For the most part, the approaches employed in our schools to teach favored values and virtues are motivationally weak. They do not reflect much depth of understanding of what motivates moral behavior. Approaches that mostly appeal to reason implausibly presume … Continue reading

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Educating Citizens

A society that is free cannot educate its children in anything less than freedom. | Steven Harrison Empowering the pursuit of happiness as each sees it is the primary purpose of education in a liberal democracy. But this mission presumes … Continue reading

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Justice and Happiness

Love is justice, justice is love. | Joseph Fletcher Though I am optimistic about the difference we could make in the lives of children by focusing on empowering their pursuit of happiness, the path to this difference admittedly leads through … Continue reading

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Synopsis of Educating Angels

What sort of education would be worthy of angels? I argue it would be an education focused on helping them achieve their deepest aspiration: happiness. Contemporary education ignores the question of children’s happiness. Schools aren’t in the happiness business. For … Continue reading

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Six Insights That Call for Happiness Education

When you seriously consider what children are taught in our schools, and the reasons given for teaching it, it is clear that their education aims first and foremost at meeting the presumed needs of society. This is not troubling if … Continue reading

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What educators have to say about Educating Angels

“As soon as I opened Educating Angels, I felt I was in the presence of a visionary whose voice is critical to our current education policy-making. I have been in hundreds of schools, first as a counselor and teacher, then … Continue reading

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Becoming a Happiness Education Crusader

I don’t recall really wanting to be a teacher until midway through graduate school. I wanted to be an academic engaged in the creative work of theorizing and scholarship. But then I had what I call a “relevance” crisis. It … Continue reading

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Q & A on Educating Angels

Q: Do you think you’ll persuade many people that empowering the pursuit of happiness is the purpose of education? A: I think almost everyone would agree that schools should contribute to students’ happiness, but not many I’ve talked to about … Continue reading

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