During the last three decades, ‘happiness’ has become an increasingly researched indicator of economic development. Bhutan, one most significant advocates of this research, introduced a Gross National Happiness Index in an attempt to measure economic development. However, there are several problems with the term ‘happiness’. For example, what is ‘happiness’? How is ‘happiness’ measured? How can we achieve ‘happiness’? These questions of happiness create plentiful problems, making it one of society’s most convoluted issues. By examining and comparing the modern day ‘Gross National Happiness’ indicator of Bhutan with the Pre-Socratic view of ‘Eudemonia’, which allegedly infers the meaning of happiness, through Aristotle’s ‘Virtue Ethics’, this paper will ultimately ask whether these two ‘Happiness’ models are adequate replacements for the current materialistic Gross Domestic Product model as an indicator of economic development. Both the Bhutanese and Aristotelian models agree ‘Happiness’ is the most significant goal for humanity yet both have different methods of achieving and measuring this feeling.
Contributed by Wafiq Islam