Anthropological foundation of the levels of happiness: Robert Spitzer, Abraham Maslow and Leonardo Polo Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this paper is to see how Leonardo Polo’s Transcendental Anthropology can give a foundation to the levels of happiness of Robert Spitzer, in his work: Healing the Culture and the hierarchy of basic needs of Abraham Maslow. Spitzer distinguishes four levels of happiness according to the inner tendencies of the human being, which he names in Latin as “laetus, felix, beatitudo and gaudio”. Maslow orders the basic human needs from physiological to safety, love, esteem, and finally self actualization. This paper observes that a) both Spitzer and Polo are in agreement with the perennial philosophy views about happiness and b) that Polo gives a trans-metaphysical (transcendental) grounding to a personal consideration of the last two levels analysed by Spitzer and c) that Maslow bases his analysis in dynamic psychology, and tends to mix Spitzers’ last three levels in his three last levels of needs.

publication date

  • 2013


  • Happiness
  • Hierachy of needs
  • Levels of happiness
  • Maslow Abraham
  • Polo Leonardo
  • Spitzer Robert
  • Transcendental anthropology

number of pages

  • 26


  • 46