CMN: Owen Flanagan on Is Happiness Possible? (February 2009)
In 1989, as a scholar on the subjects of Western Psychology and Philosophy, Dr. Owen Flanagan was selected to educate the Dalai Lama on the nature of emotions in the West. In this interview he discusses the history of the concept of happiness.
The James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University, Dr. Flanagan, has done work in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of social science, ethics, contemporary ethical theory, moral psychology, and Buddhist and Hindu conceptions of the self.
Flanagan, who has written extensively on consciousness, is realistic about the difficulty of consciousness as a scientific and philosophical problem, but optimistic about the chance of solving the problem. One of the problems in a study of consciousness is that conscious states are dependent on brain states.