“Happiness and Nothingness”


Apr. 12, 2024, 3pm to 5pm

Office/Remote Location

Room 210


Paul Schollmeier, Department of Philosophy, UNLV — Human happiness is a daydream. All our thoughts are daydreams because human knowledge has its limits. Our ideas and impressions cannot grasp reality. Our ideas arise from our impressions, internal or external, but our impressions are false! They seem to be effects that represent and resemble objects. But effects need not resemble their causes, and their causes need not be objects. We all experience dreams and mirages, do we not? What is worse, our ideas and impressions are fixed entities, but reality gives every appearance of being entities in flux.

We are deluded about our happiness, then. We are allotted only a false notion of human happiness. Human knowledge seems to be about something, but it is about not-something. It is about nothing, in a word. And yet we could not be happy if we were not deluded! We are indebted to nothing for all our activities, both our thoughts and our actions. Nothing is a privation, and it holds a potential for change. Unless it comes to be from nothing, no something can come to be. Nothing, paradoxically, permits us to think and to act! It is a privation with a potential for eudaimonic activity.



Admission Information

Open to the public.

Contact Information

UNLV Department of Philosophy
Nicole Moore

External Sponsor

UNLV Department of Philosophy