Inspired by Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas, Happiness and the Christian Moral Life argues that the central question of ethics is the meaning and nature of happiness. In the Christian life, happiness is inseparable from goodness, particularly from a way of life that helps us grow together in the goodness of God. This book attempts to show what such a life might look like and how it might change our understanding of Christian ethics.
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This book provides a comprehensive analysis of Kant's treatment of happiness in ethics. It considers the definition of happiness and the possible roles happiness may serve in ethics. It argues against critics who maintain that Kant's deontological ethic rejects happiness and against critics who assert that Kant's ethic is, in fact, consequential and concerned above all with ends such as happiness. By pointing to a system that organizes Kant's various claims about happiness, the book supports the view that happiness has positive roles to play in Kant's ethic.
Happiness Is Overrated highlights the greatest thinking on the concept of happiness from classical philosophers such as Plato, to contemporary sociologists and psychologists. It includes practical advice on how to attain happiness, but argues that happiness is not the greatest personal good. Ultimately, the greatest personal good is realized in leading a robustly meaningful, valuable life.
Happiness: A History draws on a multitude of sources, including art and architecture, poetry and scripture, music and theology, and literature and myth, to offer a sweeping history of man's most elusive yet coveted goal. Ranging from psychology to genetics to the invention of the “smiley face,” McMahon follows the great pursuit of happiness through to the present day, showing how our modern search continues to generate new forms of pleasure, but also new forms of pain. Reprint.
This book is a welcome consolidation and extension of the recent expanding debates on happiness and economics. Happiness and economics, as a new field for research, is now of pivotal interest particularly to welfare economists and psychologists.
Argues that happiness can be a learned and cultivated behavior, explaining how every person possesses at least five of twenty-four profiled strengths that can be built on in order to improve life.
Since the earliest days of philosophy, thinkers have debated the meaning of the term happiness and the nature of the good life. But it is only in recent years that the study of happiness—or “hedonics”—has developed into a formal field of inquiry, cutting across a broad range of disciplines and offering insights into a variety of crucial questions of law and public policy. Law and Happinessbrings together the best and most influential thinkers in the field to explore the question of what makes up happiness—and what factors can be demonstrated to increase or decrease it. Martha Nussbaum offers an account of the way that hedonics can productively be applied to psychology, Cass R. Sunstein considers the unexpected relationship between happiness and health problems, Matthew Adler and Eric A. Posner view hedonics through the lens of cost-benefit analysis, David A. Weisbach considers the relationship between happiness and taxation, and Mark A. Cohen examines the role crime—and fear of crime—can play in people’s assessment of their happiness, and much more. The result is a kaleidoscopic overview of this increasingly prominent field, offering surprising new perspectives and incisive analyses that will have profound implications on public policy.
Despite decades of empirical happiness research, there is still little evidence for the positive effect of economic growth on life satisfaction. This poses a major challenge to welfare economic theory and to normative conceptions of socio-economic development. This book endeavours to explain these findings and to make sense of their ethical implications. While most of the existing literature on empirical happiness research is ultimately interested in understanding how to improve human lives and societal development, the ethical backdrop against which these findings are evaluated is rarely made explicit. In contrast to this, Professor Hirata focuses on the role happiness should play in an ethically founded conception of good development. Taking a development ethics perspective, this book proposes a nuanced conception of happiness that includes both its affective and its normative dimensions and embeds this in a comprehensive conception of good development. The argument is that happiness should not be regarded as the only thing that determines a good life and that good development cannot sensibly be thought of as a matter of maximizing happiness. Happiness should rather be seen as an important indicator for the presence or absence of those concerns that really matter to people: the reasons that give rise to happiness. This book should be of interest to students and researchers of economics, psychology and development studies.
In classical and medieval times, happiness was defined as 'well-being, ' a notion that included moral goodness. Today happiness is most often defined as 'well-feeling, ' and identified with subjective states such as satisfaction and peace of mind. Deal Hudson argues that the prevailing view is dangerous in politics as well as ethics, creating individuals with no other sense of obligation than finding personal satisfaction, regardless of the moral and spiritual cost to themselves and others. Hudson calls for a return to the classical tradition: no one should be called 'happy' who cannot also be called morally good. However, a contemporary version of happiness should also go beyond the classical notion by making room in the happy life for suffering and passion. Using the history of the idea of happiness as a backdrop to a critique of contemporary views, Hudson examines happiness from philosophical, religious, psychological, sociological, literary, and political points of view--for example, he shows how the tension between the two definitions of happiness is at the heart of the Declaration of Independence. The result is an excellent overview of the history of an idea as well as a compelling argument for moral and political change in our time.
The Promise of Happiness is a provocative cultural critique of the imperative to be happy. It asks what follows when we make our desires and even our own happiness conditional on the happiness of others: “I just want you to be happy”; “I’m happy if you’re happy.” Combining philosophy and feminist cultural studies, Sara Ahmed reveals the affective and moral work performed by the “happiness duty,” the expectation that we will be made happy by taking part in that which is deemed good, and that by being happy ourselves, we will make others happy. Ahmed maintains that happiness is a promise that directs us toward certain life choices and away from others. Happiness is promised to those willing to live their lives in the right way. Ahmed draws on the intellectual history of happiness, from classical accounts of ethics as the good life, through seventeenth-century writings on affect and the passions, eighteenth-century debates on virtue and education, and nineteenth-century utilitarianism. She engages with feminist, antiracist, and queer critics who have shown how happiness is used to justify social oppression, and how challenging oppression causes unhappiness. Reading novels and films including Mrs. Dalloway, The Well of Loneliness, Bend It Like Beckham, and Children of Men, Ahmed considers the plight of the figures who challenge and are challenged by the attribution of happiness to particular objects or social ideals: the feminist killjoy, the unhappy queer, the angry black woman, and the melancholic migrant. Through her readings she raises critical questions about the moral order imposed by the injunction to be happy.