The End of History and the Invention of Happiness

Jules Evans

Abstract

This paper explores how the contemporary politics of wellbeing moves beyond classical liberal ideas of the state as protector of 'negative liberty' and back to Ancient Greek ideas of the state as the promoter of flourishing or eudaimonia. It looks at the influence of Aristotle and the Stoics on UK mental health and education policy, particularly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and wellbeing classes. It ends by discussing whether government schemes for wellbeing promotion are illiberal, concludes that they potentially are, and suggests a way to make interventions more pluralistic and democratic.