- Identify a project for happiness.
- Imagine that the project may be false. Look for exceptions to the supposed link between the desired object and happiness. Could one possess the desired object but not be happy? Could one be happy but not have the desired object?
- If an exception is found, the desired object cannot be a necessary and sufficient cause of happiness.
- In order to be accurate about producing happiness, the initial project must be nuanced to take the exception into account.
- True needs may now seem very different from the confused initial desire.
— Alain De Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy