Have you ever wondered what ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’ really means? Thomas Jefferson was an avid student of Aristotle which is where the idea of a pursuit of happiness originated. I am reading a new book called ‘Aristotle’s Way’ by Edith Hall. I came across a paragraph about Aristotle’s view of public education that I would like to share with you:
“The eighth book of his Politics opens with this famous dictum: “None will doubt that the legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth for the neglect of education does harm to the constitution.” He means that education at all levels, from small children through to young adults, is of such fundamental importance to the flourishing of the community under any form of constitution that it must be publicly determined and can’t possibly be left to the decided ad hoc by each parent. Since the goal of any city-state is to ensure that its citizens live the good life, “it is manifest that education should be one and the same for all, and that it should be public, and not private.” Page 54-55
These are matters of common interest on which the pursuit of happiness is based.