Philosophy was the origin of most scientific disciplines. Aristotle was in some sense an astronomer, a physicist, a biologist, a psychologist and a political scientist.As various philosophical subdiscplines found ways of treating their topics with full empirical rigor, they gradually separated themselves from philosophy, which increasingly became a purely armchair enterprise, working not from controlled experiments but from common-sense experiences and conceptual analysis.
In recent years, however, the sciences - in particular, psychology and the social sciences - have begun to return to their origin, combining data and hypotheses with conceptual and normative considerations that are essentially philosophical. An excellent example of this return is the new psychological science of happiness.
The empirical basis of this discipline is a vast amount of data suggesting correlations between happiness and various genetic, social, economic, and personal factors.Some of the results are old news: wealth, beauty, and pleasure, for example, have little effect on happiness.But there are some surprises: serious illness typically does not make us much less happy, marriage in the long run is not a major source of either happiness or unhappiness.
The new research has both raised hopes and provoked skepticism.Psychologists such as Sonja Lyubomirsky have developed a new genre of self-help books, purporting to replace the intuitions and stories of traditional advisors with scientific programs for making people happy. At the same time, there are serious methodological challenges, and the most powerful challenge concerns the meaning and value of happiness.Researchers emphasize that when we ask people if they are happy the answers tell us nothing if we don' t know what our respondents mean by "happy." One person might mean, "I' m not currently feeling any serious pain" ; another, " My life is pretty horrible but I' m reconciled to it" ; another, "I' m feeling a lot better than I did yesterday." Happiness research requires a clear understanding of the possible meanings of the term.
These issues inevitably lead to philosophical reflection. For richer and more sensitive conceptions of happiness, we need to turn to philosophers, who, from Plato and Aristotle, through Hume and Mill, to Hegel and Nietzsche, have provided some of the deepest insight into the possible meanings of happiness. On another level, Immanuel Kant asks whether happiness should even be a goal of a good human life, which, he suggests, is rather directed toward choosing to do the right thing even if it destroys our happiness.Nietzsche helps us consider whether even morality itself is a worthy goal of human existence. These essential questions are not empirical.
Still, psychologists understandably want to address such questions, and their scientific data can make an important contribution to the discussion. But to the extent that psychology takes on questions about basic human values, it is taking on a humanistic dimension that needs to engage with philosophy and the other disciplines - history, art, literature, even theology - that are essential for grappling with the question of happiness. Psychologists should recognize this and give up the pretension that empirical investigations alone can answer the big questions about happiness.Philosophers and other humanists, in turn, should be happy to welcome psychologists into their world.
36. The main idea of the first paragraph is about .
[A] the origin of scientific disciplines
[B] the separation of science from philosophy
[C ] the downfall of philosophy
[D] the return of science toward philosophy
37. It can be inferred from paragraph 4 that previous self-help books' discussion about happiness is usually .
[ D] anecdotal
38. The fundamental problem of psychological probe into happiness lies in that .
[A] the data collection methods employed by psychologists is unreliable
[B] their findings are just repeating what has been told by philosophers
[C] factors affecting happiness are too numerous to control in empirical study
[D] happiness is personal experience which can not be defined absolutely
39. In Paragraph 5, Immanuel Kant and Nietzsche questions .
[A] the meaning of happiness
[B] the way to acquire happiness
[C] the attempt to set happiness as life goal
[ D] moral basis of happiness
40. According to the author,empirical studies .
[A] parallel with philosophy in answering questions about basic human values
[B] have no role to play in pursuing the answer to the question of happiness
[C] should return to its philosophical origin when addressing problems
[D] should embrace philosophical conceptions in answering big questions about human