A Brief History of Happiness / Edition 1

A Brief History of Happiness / Edition 1

by Nicholas White
     
 

Do we really know what happiness is? Should happiness play such a dominant role in shaping and orienting our lives? And how can we deal with conflicts between the various things that make us happy? In this brief history of happiness, philosopher Nicholas White reviews 2,500 years of attempts to answer such questions.

White considers the ways in which major

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Overview

Do we really know what happiness is? Should happiness play such a dominant role in shaping and orienting our lives? And how can we deal with conflicts between the various things that make us happy? In this brief history of happiness, philosopher Nicholas White reviews 2,500 years of attempts to answer such questions.

White considers the ways in which major thinkers from antiquity to the present day have treated happiness: from Plato’s notion of the harmony of the soul and Aristotle’s account of well-being or flourishing as the aim of an ethical life, to Aquinas’ idea of the vision of the divine essence, Bentham’s hedonistic calculus, and the modern-day decision-theoretic notion of preference. We also encounter skepticism about the very idea of a complete and consistent concept of happiness in the writings of Nietzsche and Freud. Throughout, White relates questions about happiness to central concerns in ethics and practical philosophy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405115209
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
01/31/2006
Series:
Brief Histories of Philosophy Series, #5
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,491,935
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.55(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

1Introducing the concept1
2Conflicts, perspectives, and the identification of happiness6
3Pleasure, hedonism, and the measurement of happiness41
4Happiness as structure and harmony75
5Morality, happiness, and conflict116
6Happiness, fact, and value142
7Doing without the concept162

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