Happiness: Classic and Contemporary Readings in Philosophy / Edition 1

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Happiness has long been a focus of attention for philosophers as well as psychologists. This volume, the only collection devoted to the subject from the standpoint of philosophy, offers twenty-seven classic and contemporary readings exploring the nature of happiness. Part I, a survey of the ways happiness has been treated throughout the history of ethics, includes writings by Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Seneca, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, Joseph Butler, David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, Arthur Schopenhauer, John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Part II explores the work of contemporary ethical theorists, including Julia Annas, John Kekes, Richard Kraut, Robert Nozick, and Richard Taylor. The book also includes an introduction by psychologist Daniel Nettle, headnotes for each selection, and essays by the editors. Ideal for ethics courses, Happiness: Classic and Contemporary Readings can also be used in courses in introductory philosophy and positive psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an excellent and comprehensive collection of classic and contemporary sources on happiness. It covers a number of central questions: How should we define happiness? How can we attain happiness? What role does it play in human existence? and What is the relation between happiness and morality? The collection would work well in a wide range of undergraduate philosophy courses."—Jeffrey Flynn, Middlebury College

"A strength of the volume is the fantastic historical selections the coeditors have chosen. In terms of the history of philosophical and theological thinking about happiness in the West, the editors have picked excellent, provocative, and thoughtful selections."—Sandra L. Shapshay, Indiana University, Bloomington

"A very timely and important contribution for college and university philosophy instructors."—David Elliott, University of Regina

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195321401
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/16/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 289
  • Sales rank: 180,202
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

The City University of New York Graduate Center

The City College of New York

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Daniel Nettle
Plato, The Republic (selections)
Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics (selections)
Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus; Leading Doctrines
Seneca, On the Happy Life (selections)
Augustine, The Happy Life (selections)
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles (selections)
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (selections)
Joseph Butler, Upon the Love of Our Neighbor
David Hume, The Sceptic
Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (selections)
Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (selections); Critique of Pure Reason (selections)
Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Variety and Suffering of Life (selections)
John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (selections)
Henry Sidgwick, Happiness and Duty
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life (selections)
Jean-Paul Sartre, Forlornness
A. Happiness as Pleasure
Wayne Davis, Pleasure and Happiness
Daniel Haybron, Why Hedonism Is False
B. Happiness as Satisfaction
John Kekes, Attitudinal and Episodic Happiness
Wladyslaw Tatarkiewicz, Happiness and Time
C. Happiness as More Than Satisfaction
Richard Kraut, Two Conceptions of Happiness
Richard Taylor, Virtue Ethics
Robert Nozick, The Experience Machine
Julia Annas, Happiness as Achievement
D. Happiness and Virtue
Julia Annas, Virtue and Eudaimonism
Steven M. Cahn and Jeffrie G. Murphy, Happiness and Immorality
Christine Vitrano, Happiness and Morality

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