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The pursuit of happiness is enshrined in our Declaration of Independence as a founding aspiration for each individual in the United States. And though he gave it a modern twist, framing it as a right, Thomas Jefferson echoed an idea millennia old for the "West," found in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, namely that a good life is a happy one. The Aztec philosophers of what is now modern Mexico would say that our tradition has been in the grips of an equally long mistake. If, by "happiness" you mean an elevated emotional state, then it turns out that most of us already do value something more and rather different. What we are after is instead a rooted life, and this insight shapes our understanding of how to frame our own personal pursuits as well as how to treat others. The purpose of this talk is, hopefully, to convince you that the Aztecs were right.

This discussion will be lead by Sabastian Purcell, professor of philosophy at SUNY Cortland.

Refreshments will be provided from Hamilton Whole Foods.

This event is supported by the Jerome Balmuth Fund and Marion Hoeflich Endownment.

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