De letters CCEP in donderrood tegen een Radboudrode achtergrond
De letters CCEP in donderrood tegen een Radboudrode achtergrond

Call for Submissions: Happiness in Contemporary Continental Philosophy

Open Philosophy in invites submissions for the topical issue "Happiness in Contemporary Continental Philosophy," edited by Ype de Boer.


Submissions will be collected until January 31, 2024.


Contemporary continental philosophy is ambivalent when it comes to happiness. It takes up a prominent position in the work of, for instance, Giorgio Agamben, with the enigmatic notion of 'happy life' and in that of Alain Badiou, who provocatively states that '[a]ll philosophy is a metaphysics of happiness... or it's not worth an hour of trouble'. Both inherit an old tradition of ethical thought, developed from an intuition concerning a deep relation between truth, being, the good and happiness - a tradition reinvigorated by other influential contemporary thinkers such as Pierre Hadot and Michel Foucault. 

At the same time, however, modern philosophy is marked by a certain distrust of happiness, deeming it a subject to egotistic, frivolous, or distracting for serious ethical thought. At least since Kant's exclusion of the desire for happiness from the sphere of morality, to some the very call to reflect upon happy life is an indication of bad taste, privilege or otherworldliness. Who has time to reflect on happiness when there are so much other, more urgent topics that demand our attention, such as climate change, racism, sexism, pandemics and refugee-crises? In The Human Condition, for instance, Hannah Arendt demotes 'the pursuit of happiness' to the activities corresponding to the biological processes of the human life (labor), distinguishing it from the higher concerns of 'work' and 'action'. 

In addition, a mounting body of literature argues that happiness has become a commodity and its pursuit forms an obstacle rather than an instrument to the emancipatory efforts of philosophy. The goal of this special issue is to critically assess and discuss the philosophical potential of happiness in contemporary continental thought. What is the place of happiness within contemporary continental philosophy? How do various continental thinkers approach and evaluate the subject? What is its relation to truth and to the various domains of thought, such as ontology, ethics and politics?

Open Philosophy

Authors publishing their articles in the special issue will benefit from:

  • Transparent, comprehensive and fast peer review,
  • Efficient route to fast-track publication and full advantage of De Gruyter's e-technology.

Because Open Philosophy is published under an Open Access model, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by so called Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors. Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal katarzyna.tempczyk [at] (Katarzyna Tempczyk) before submitting their manuscripts.

How to submit

To submit an article for the special issue of Open Philosophy, authors are asked to access the online submission system.
Please choose as article type: Happiness Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors.
All contributions will undergo critical review before being accepted for publication.


Further questions about this thematic issue can be addressed to Ype de Boer. In case of technical problems with your submission, please contact AssistantManagingEditor [at]

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