Where is Tyche?

Bringing the ‘hap’ back into Happiness





Happiness, Tyche, Instant, Relationality, Presence


In this paper, I seek to revitalize the concept of happiness by conceptualizing it as a relational and instantaneous phenomenon with both existential, ethical and political dimensions. Happiness hap-ens – in and through encounters, and it does so when we least expect it. Drawing on Bachelard’s writings on ‘the instant’, as well as Gumbrecht’s and Rosa’s much related concepts of ‘presence’ and ‘resonance’, I attempt to formulate a more relational and nonvolitional counter-concept of happiness that blurs the border between eudemonic happiness and subjective well-being on the one hand and positive affect on the other. Safe-guarding opportunities for these moments to happen is to be seen as vital in a contemporary society governed by individualization, rationalization and hedonistic principles. Even though one cannot choose to be happy, one can indeed lead a good life; colored by an openness towards the other and what might come.

Author Biography

Alfred Bordado Sköld, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University

Alfred Bordado Sköld is currently based at The Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University. His research focuses on the socio-ontological and existential aspects of grief, death awareness, the psychology and philosophy of love and critical happiness studies.




How to Cite

Sköld, A. B. (2021). Where is Tyche? Bringing the ‘hap’ back into Happiness. International Review of Theoretical Psychologies, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.7146/irtp.v1i2.128019