Impulse theory of happiness

In hmolscience, impulse theory of happiness, or "Porteus theory of happiness", is a line of reasoning which posits that that following one’s impulses—particularly when it comes to the integration of things—will thermodynamically be in accordance with the second law, and therefore lead to happiness.

In the 1930s, American writer and philosopher Elizabeth Porteus began to develop a theory reasoning that that since the second law is seen, in some forms, as a “law of disintegration”, meaning that “complicated arrangements always break down into less complicated ones”, a state of happiness in life will ensue when one follows the "impulse of integration". [1]

By “creative”, Porteus refers to not only what is commonly considered creative such as “painting pictures, making music, writing books, making pottery or making art of any kind,” but also to “any impulse to create a new integrated arrangement of the elements of reality”, such as “making new arrangements of words, colors, musical notes, or ideas”, “joining together small things, or big things, or “joining together inanimate elements, or it might be joining together living ones.” In relation to people, Porteus states that creation may refer to “joining together people into new groups or in organizing groups into bigger groups, or in organizing better the groups that already exist, or as in trying to work out better laws. Likewise, it might be “in joining ourselves to what is in the world by learning about it”, “joining with other people in sex, friendship, or love”, or something as simple as “cleaning out a drawer or mopping the floor”. [2]

In her 1987 My Twentieth Century Philosophy, Porteus outlines the view that since, according to generalized colloquial point of view, the second law of thermodynamics is a “law of disintegration”, meaning that "complicated arrangements always break down into less complicated ones", a state of life happiness would occur when one aligns themselves with the force or “impulse of integration” in unison with the current of creation or growth of structure and form as seen in evolution.

1. (a) Dole, Elizabeth P. (2005). “Life, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Happiness” (Ѻ) , Journal of Human Thermodynamics, Vol. 1, Issue 3. (pg. 21-26). October. Chicago: Institute of Human Thermodynamics.
(b) Porteus, Elizabeth, D. (1987). My Twentieth Century Philosophy. New York: Carlton Press, Inc.
(c) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume Two) (pgs. 518, 664). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
2. Porteus, Elizabeth P. (1999). “The Porteus Philosophy of Life: The Secret of Happiness” (Ѻ),, Nov. 14.

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