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5.1l.6.18. Happiness (Happiness on PhilPapers)

Ahmed, Sara (2010). The Promise of Happiness. Duke University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Introduction: why happiness, why now? -- Happy objects -- Feminist killjoys -- Unhappy queers -- Melancholic migrants -- Happy futures -- Conclusion: happiness, ethics, possibility.
Akam, J. B. (1995). The Oracle of Wisdom: Towards Philosophic Equipoise. Snaap Press Limited.   (Google)
Alexandrova, Anna (2008). First-person reports and the measurement of happiness. Philosophical Psychology 21 (5):571 – 583.   (Google)
Abstract: First-person reports are central to the study of subjective well-being in contemporary psychology, but there is much disagreement about exactly what sort of first-person reports should be used. This paper examines an influential proposal to replace all first-person reports of life satisfaction with introspective reports of affect. I argue against the reasoning behind this proposal, and propose instead a new strategy for deciding what measure is appropriate
Alexander, William; Anderson, Keith; Harris, Jane; Ingram, Julian; Nelson, Tom; Woods, Katherine & Svensen, Judy, On good and bad: Whether happiness is the highest good.   (Google)
Abstract: ON GOOD AND BAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i Table of Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i..
Allmark, Peter (2005). Health, happiness and health promotion. Journal of Applied Philosophy 22 (1):1–15.   (Google | More links)
Almeder, Robert F. (2000). Human Happiness and Morality: A Brief Introduction to Ethics. Prometheus Books.   (Google)
Andreou, Chrisoula (2010). A shallow route to environmentally friendly happiness: Why evidence that we are shallow materialists need not be bad news for the environment(alist). Ethics, Place and Environment 13 (1):1 – 10.   (Google)
Abstract: It is natural to assume that we would not be willing to compromise the environment if the conveniences and luxuries thereby gained did not have a substantial positive impact on our happiness. But there is room for skepticism and, in particular, for the thesis that we are compromising the environment to no avail in that our conveniences and luxuries are not having a significant impact on our happiness, making the costs incurred for them a waste. One way of defending the no-avail thesis fits neatly with what I will call the exalted view , according to which the key to human happiness lies in the mental (or spiritual) realm rather than in the material realm. After considering this familiar approach to defending the no-avail thesis, I sketch out a very different approach—one that will, I hope, appeal to those who have doubts about the familiar line of defense. The alternative and novel approach builds on a strand of empirical research on (self-reports concerning) happiness that suggests that we are, in a way, quite shallow, and that our happiness depends on whether we are keeping up with the Joneses. I call this view concerning happiness the worldly view . My reasoning suggests that even if the current rift between exalted pictures of human nature and happiness, on the one hand, and worldly pictures of human nature and happiness, on the other, cannot be repaired, it need not hinder agreement on the plausibility of the no-avail thesis; rather, with the rift come two different routes to the same thesis. I conclude that we should take the no-avail thesis very seriously, and that evidence that we are shallow materialists need not be bad news for the environment(alist)
Annas, Julia (1987). Epicurus on pleasure and happiness. Philosophical Topics 15 (2):5-21.   (Google)
Annas, Julia (1993). The Morality of Happiness. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Ancient ethical theories, based on the notions of virtue and happiness, have struck many as an attractive alternative to modern theories. But we cannot find out whether this is true until we understand ancient ethics--and to do this we need to examine the basic structure of ancient ethical theory, not just the details of one or two theories. In this book, Annas brings together the results of a wide-ranging study of ancient ethical philosophy and presents it in a way that is easily accessible to anyone with an interest in ancient or modern ethics. She examines the fundamental notions of happiness and virtue, the role of nature in ethical justification and the relation between concern for self and concern for others. Her careful examination of the ancient debates and arguments shows that many widespread assumptions about ancient ethics are quite mistaken. Ancient ethical theories are not egoistic, and do not depend for their acceptance on metaphysical theories of a teleological kind. Most centrally, they are recognizably theories of morality, and the ancient disputes about the place of virtue in happiness can be seen as akin to modern disputes about the demands of morality
Armstrong, Charles Wicksteed (1951). Road to Happiness. London, Watts.   (Google)
Atherton, John R.; Graham, Elaine L. & Steedman, Ian (eds.) (2010). The Practices of Happiness: Political Economy, Religion and Wellbeing. Routledge.   (Google)
Austin, Michael W. (2007). Chasing happiness together : Running and Aristotle's philosophy of friendship. In Michael W. Austin (ed.), Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind. Blackwell.   (Google)
Avramenko, Richard (2007). The wound and salve of time: Augustine's politics of human happiness. Review of Metaphysics 60 (4):779-811.   (Google)
Barron, Robert (2007). A brief history of happiness. Review of Metaphysics 61 (1):167-169.   (Google)
Barrotta, Pierluigi (2008). Why economists should be unhappy with the economics of happiness. Economics and Philosophy 24 (2):145-165.   (Google)
Becker, Gary (ms). Evolutionary efficiency and happiness.   (Google)
Abstract: We model happiness as a measurement tool used to rank alternative actions. Evolution favors a happiness function that measures the individual’s success in relative terms. The optimal function, in particular, is based on a time-varying reference point –or performance benchmark –that is updated over time in a statistically optimal way in order to match the individual’s potential. Habits and peer comparisons arise as special cases of such updating process. This updating also results in a volatile level of happiness that continuously reverts to its long-term mean. Throughout, we draw a parallel with a problem of optimal incentives, which allows us to apply statistical insights from agency theory to the study of happiness
Benditt, Theodore (1974). Happiness. Philosophical Studies 25 (1).   (Google)
Berry, Narendra Kumar (1994). Everlasting Happiness. International Foundation for Education of Cosmological Spititualism.   (Google)
Berkovski, Sandy (ms). Happiness, ignorance, and externalism.   (Google)
Abstract: A natural view of happiness is based on ‘internalism’. One of its components is the claim about the supervenience of happiness over experiences. A change from one’s happiness to unhappiness is necessarily accompanied by a change in one’s experiences. Another component is the supreme authority of the subject. An agent must be regarded as the best judge of his own happiness. Any third person judgment which may be passed on his happiness depends on how the agent himself values his condition
Bett, Richard (2005). Nietzsche, the greeks, and happiness (with special reference to Aristotle and epicurus). Philosophical Topics 33 (2):45-70.   (Google)
Birmingham, P. (2003). The pleasure of your company: Arendt, Kristeva, and an ethics of public happiness. Research in Phenomenology 33 (1):53-74.   (Google)
Abstract: In this essay, I examine Arendt's and Kristeva's account of the archaic event of natality, arguing that each attempts to show how this event is the source of our pleasure in the company of others. I first examine Arendt's understanding of natality, showing that in her early writings, specifically in The Origin of Totalitarianism, the event of natality carries with it a capacity for violence that Arendt does not continue to develop in her later formulations. This lack of development leaves her later thought, specifically her notion of "public happiness" strangely light-minded on the topic of domination, unable to give an account of how violence can be part and parcel of our appearance in the public space itself. I then turn to Kristeva's understanding of the event of natality, arguing that her account, specifically the "violence beneath our desires" contributes significantly to Arendt's account of natality, allowing us to understand how pleasure in the company of others is possible despite such violence. I argue that Kristeva locates our capacity for public happiness in the aspect of natality Arendt abandons in her later thought. I conclude by showing how Kristeva's account of natality provides a foundation for Arendt's understanding of public happiness
Blackson, Thomas (2009). On Feldman's theory of happiness. Utilitas 21 (3):393-400.   (Google)
Bogen, James & Farrell, Daniel M. (1978). Freedom and happiness in mill's defence of liberty. Philosophical Quarterly 28 (113):325-338.   (Google | More links)
Bortolotti, Lisa (ed.) (2009). Philosophy and Happiness. Palgrave MacMillan.   (Google)
Abstract: Philosophy and Happiness addresses the need to situate any meaningful discourse about happiness in a wider context of human interests, capacities and circumstances. How is happiness manifested and expressed? Can there be any happiness if no worthy life projects are pursued? How is happiness affected by relationships, illness, or cultural variants? Can it be reduced to preference satisfaction? Is it a temporary feeling or a persistent way of being? Is reflection conducive to happiness? Is mortality necessary for it? These are the questions people ask themselves when they stop and think about how they feel, how their lives are going, and how they would be going if different choices had been made or different values had been prioritized. These are the questions that contributors to this volume begin to answer, adopting different methodologies, among which the analysis of widespread intuitions about imaginary and real-life scenarios, and reflection on the interpretation of the relevant empirical evidence emerging from psychology and economics.
Boyer, C. V. (1923). Self-expression and happiness: A study of Matthew Arnold's idea of perfection. International Journal of Ethics 33 (3):263-290.   (Google | More links)
Brown, Christopher (2009). Friendship in heaven : Aquinas on supremely perfect happiness and the communion of the saints. In Kevin Timpe (ed.), Metaphysics and God: Essays in Honor of Eleonore Stump. Routledge.   (Google)
Brown, Malcolm (2010). Happiness isn't working, but it should be. In John R. Atherton, Elaine L. Graham & Ian Steedman (eds.), The Practices of Happiness: Political Economy, Religion and Wellbeing. Routledge.   (Google)
Brown, Eric, Wishing for fortune, choosing activity: Aristotle on external goods and happiness.   (Google)
Abstract: In Book One of the Nicomachean Ethics (EN),1 Aristotle seeks to identify the human good, which he also calls eudaimonia2 or happiness (I 4, 1095a14-20) and which he explains as that for the sake of which one should do everything one does (I 7, 1097a22-24 and 1097a25- b21). After introducing the idea (in chapters one through three) and surveying some received accounts of it (in chapters four through six), he seems to give his definition in the seventh chapter, where he appeals to the human function and concludes that "the human good is activity of the [rational] soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are multiple virtues, in accordance with the best and most complete virtue" (I 7, 1098a16-18).3 This account is sketchy, as Aristotle admits (I 7, 1098a20-22): he needs to say what virtuous activity is, how many virtues there are, and whether some one virtue is best and most complete. But the account has enough content to suit Aristotle's initial purposes (I 7, 1098a22-b8) and to court interpretive controversy. Perhaps the most obvious controversy is this: Does Aristotle really mean that the human good is just virtuous rational activity? Are health and wealth, not to mention friends and lovers, not part of the goal for the sake of which one should do everything one does? Many readers think that Aristotle does not intend such a narrow account. Some point to what he says about happiness before he comes to the human function argument, or to what he says about the good..
Bruni, Luigino (2007). Civil Economy: Efficiency, Equity, Public Happiness. Peter Lang.   (Google)
Burns, J. H. (2005). Happiness and utility: Jeremy Bentham's equation. Utilitas 17 (1):46-61.   (Google)
Abstract: Doubts about the origin of Bentham's formula, ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number’, were resolved by Robert Shackleton thirty years ago. Uncertainty has persisted on at least two points. (1) Why did the phrase largely disappear from Bentham's writing for three or four decades after its appearance in 1776? (2) Is it correct to argue (with David Lyons in 1973) that Bentham's principle is to be differentially interpreted as having sometimes a ‘parochial’ and sometimes a ‘universalist’ bearing? These issues are reopened here with particular reference to textual evidence overlooked in earlier discussions and contextual evidence on the development of Bentham's radicalism in the last two decades of his life. In conclusion some broader issues are raised concerning the character of Bentham's understanding of ‘happiness’ itself
Bush, Stephen S. (2008). Divine and human happiness in nicomachean ethics. Philosophical Review 117 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: presents a puzzle as to whether Aristotle views morally virtuous activity as happiness, as book 1 seems to indicate, or philosophical contemplation as happiness, as book 10 seems to indicate. The most influential attempts to resolve this issue have been either monistic or inclusivist. According to the monists, happiness consists exclusively of contemplation. According to the inclusivists, contemplation is one constituent of happiness, but morally virtuous activity is another. In this essay I will examine influential defenses of monism. Finding these accounts superior to inclusivism, but still deficient, I will present and defend a dualistic account of happiness in which two different types of happiness, one divine and one human, are present in Nicomachean Ethics. When Aristotle commends contemplation as a happiness that humans can attain, he is careful to specify that this activity corresponds to a capacity (nous) that is not, properly speaking, human, even though humans can exercise it. Contemplation, the divine good, is the highest good that humans can obtain, but it is not the characteristic human good. The characteristic human good corresponds to the specifically and merely human function, which is an activity of the compound of human reason and emotions
Bush, Vannevar (1961). Education, Wisdom & Happiness. [Cambridge, Centennial Committee, Massachusetts Insitute of Technology.   (Google)
Cahn, Steven M. & Murphy, Jeffrie G. (2009). Happiness and immorality. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Ethics: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Cahn, Steven M. & Vitrano, Christine (eds.) (2007). Happiness: Classic and Contemporary Readings in Philosophy. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Camcastle, Cara (2008). Beccaria's luxury of comfort and happiness of the greatest number. Utilitas 20 (1):1-20.   (Google)
Chang, Jiang (2009). Happiness, harmony, wisdom and elegance : A perspective of contemporary eudemonism. In Jinfen Yan & David E. Schrader (eds.), Creating a Global Dialogue on Value Inquiry: Papers From the Xxii Congress of Philosophy (Rethinking Philosophy Today). Edwin Mellen Press.   (Google)
Chen, Shaoming (2010). On pleasure: A reflection on happiness from the confucian and daoist perspectives. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (2):179-195.   (Google)
Abstract: This paper discusses the structural relationship between ideals on pleasure and pleasure as a human psychological phenomenon in Chinese thought. It describes the psychological phenomenon of pleasure, and compares different approaches by pre-Qin Confucian and Daoist scholars. It also analyzes its development in Song and Ming Confucianism. Finally, in the conclusion, the issue is transferred to a general understanding of happiness, so as to demonstrate the modern value of the classical ideological experience
Claremont, Claude A. (1947). Psychic conditions of social happiness. Synthese 6 (3-4).   (Google)
Cooper, John M. (1987). Contemplation and happiness: A reconsideration. Synthese 72 (2).   (Google)
Cooper, Review author[s]: John M. (1995). Eudaimonism and the appeal to nature in the morality of happiness: Comments on Julia Annas, the morality of happiness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (3):587-598.   (Google | More links)
Cowan, J. L. (1989). Why not happiness? Philosophical Studies 56 (2).   (Google)
Crisp, Roger (1996). Mill on virtue as a part of happiness. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 4 (2):367 – 380.   (Google)
Cupitt, Don (2005). The Way to Happiness: A Theory of Religion. Polebridge Press.   (Google)
Davis, Wayne A. (1981). A theory of happiness. American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (April):111-20.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Davis, Wayne (1981). Pleasure and happiness. Philosophical Studies 39 (3).   (Google)
Davenport, John J. (2007). Will as Commitment and Resolve: An Existential Account of Creativity, Love, Virtue, and Happiness. Fordham University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: In contemporary philosophy, the will is often regarded as a sheer philosophical fiction. In Will as Commitment and Resolve , Davenport argues not only that the will is the central power of human agency that makes decisions and forms intentions but also that it includes the capacity to generate new motivation different in structure from prepurposive desires. The concept of "projective motivation" is the central innovation in Davenport's existential account of the everyday notion of striving will. Beginning with the contrast between "eastern" and "western" attitudes toward assertive willing, Davenport traces the lineage of the idea of projective motivation from NeoPlatonic and Christian conceptions of divine motivation to Scotus, Kant, Marx, Arendt, and Levinas. Rich with historical detail, this book includes an extended examination of Platonic and Aristotelian eudaimonist theories of human motivation. Drawing on contemporary critiques of egoism, Davenport argues that happiness is primarily a byproduct of activities and pursuits aimed at other agent-transcending goods for their own sake. In particular, the motives involved in virtue and in its practice as understood by Alasdair MacIntyre are projective rather than eudaimonist. This theory is supported by analyses of radical evil, accounts of intrinsic motivation in existential psychology, and contemporary theories of identity-forming commitment in analytic moral psychology. Following Viktor Frankl, Joseph Raz, and others, Davenport argues that Harry Frankfurt's conception of caring requires objective values worth caring about, which serve as rational grounds for projecting new final ends. The argument concludes with a taxonomy of values or goods, devotion to which can make life meaningful for us
Dearden, R. F. (1968). Happiness and education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 2 (1):17–29.   (Google | More links)
Dolan, Albert Harold[from old catalog] (1942). More Friends of Happiness. And Chicago, Ill.,The Carmelite Press.   (Google)
Donougho, Martin (2009). Review of Alexander Nehamas, Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (1).   (Google)
Dougherty, Jude P. (2007). The difficult good: A thomistic approach to moral conflict and human happiness. Review of Metaphysics 61 (2):430-432.   (Google)
Dutt, Amitava Krishna & Radcliff, Benjamin (eds.) (2009). Happiness, Economics and Politics: Towards a Multi-Disciplinary Approach. Edward Elgar.   (Google)
Eardley, P. S. (2006). Conceptions of happiness and human destiny in the late thirteenth century. Vivarium 44 (s 2-3):276-304.   (Google)
Abstract: Medieval theories of ethics tended on the whole to regard self-perfection as the goal of human life. However there was profound disagreement, particularly in the late thirteenth century, over how exactly this was to be understood. Intellectualists such as Aquinas famously argued that human perfection lay primarily in coming to know the essence of God in the next life. Voluntarists such as the Franciscan John Peckham, by contrast, argued that ultimate perfection was to be achieved in patria through the act of loving God. The present article argues that Giles of Rome and Henry of Ghent defended a different sort of voluntarism with respect to the final destiny of human beings. Rather than claiming that the goal of human life lay in the perfection of the self, they argued instead that ultimate union with God was to be achieved mystically through an act of self-transcendence, which occurred through ecstasy or quasi-deification
Ebenstein, Alan O. (1991). The Greatest Happiness Principle: An Examination of Utilitarianism. Garland.   (Google)
Ehrmann, Max (1948). The Desiderata of Happiness: A Collection of Philosophical Poems. Crown Publishers.   (Google)
Abstract: In a uniform format with Desiderata and The Desiderata of Love (with all-new illustrations and a fresh new jacket), this is a collection of life-affirming poems by a writer who has inspired and comforted countless readers. Line drawings
Epictetus, (1940). Give Yourself Happiness Says Epictetus. San Francisco, Kohnke Printing Co..   (Google)
Epicurus, (1994). Letter on Happiness. Chronicle Books.   (Google)
Abstract: A best-seller in Europe following its original publication in 1993, this littel book takes on a big subject, offering enduring guidelines from the Greek philosopher Epicurus for achieving lasting happiness. In a letter to his friend Menoecceus, Epicurus gives sound advice on increasing life's pleasures, not through hedonistic pursuits, as commonly assumed, but through intelligence, morality, and decency. Based on a new translation of Epicurus to Menoecceus and complete with the original Greek text, Letter on Happiness expounds upon basic philosophical inquiries concerning pleasure, longevity, death, and desire that are as relevant today as they were in ancient Greece, all in a compact, attractive package that makes a thoughtful gift for any occasion
Epictetus, (2003). Virtue and Happiness: The Manual of Epictetus. Shambhala Publications.   (Google)
Abstract: Claude Mediavilla brings to the Greek text his training as both a painter and calligrapher, marrying modern variants of both medium and style with classical forms in a way that brings Epictetus’ words to life with beauty and startling immediacy. Calligraphy (from the Greek for "beautiful writing") is an art where word and image meet, where the artist strives to give visual expression to the meaning of words in a way that transcends the text while remaining completely faithful to it. It is a discipline that has been invested with spiritual significance wherever it has arisen--and it has arisen throughout the world in every age, in virtually every language, culture, and religion. The Shambhala Calligraphy series is a collection of books devoted to contemporary expressions of this "art of the word," featuring contemporary calligraphers' striking new interpretations of texts that have been traditional subjects for calligraphic interpretation. Whether in Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, or Chinese pictographs, the characters, words, and sentences are brought to life anew here in a choreography of mind, hand, and heart by which letter and spirit fuse in a single stroke
Erber, Georg, The principle of greatest happiness in western economic thought and its relation to buddhist economics.   (Google)
Abstract:      Western economic thinkers in the 19th century rediscovered the principle of greatest happiness (PGH). However, as Eastern philosophical and religious thinking shows it was part of common knowledge in Buddhism and Hinduism over the past millennia. PGH did not have the same agenda as later on utilitarism of John Stanley Jevons, with the utility maximization principle (UMP) of individuals disconnected from the rest of the society. The UMP was more an outcome of a fusion between moral ethical thinking as a social phenomenon with the Newtonian principles of mechanics based on differential calculus. The huge success of natural sciences in the 19th century during the industrial revolution was too tempting not to imitate its methodologies and concepts in the social sciences as social physics (SP). This kind of approach still has many followers unsurprisingly in the natural science community nowadays. The paper studies these interconnections between these different strands of Western thinking which lead after a century to the neoclassical paradigm in economics which took the UMP as its foundation for economic analysis. Richard Layard, an English labour economist, pointed out among others by empirical research that wellbeing or happiness is not significantly correlated with an ever increasing material wealth. Here might emerge a bridge between Buddhist economics and the recent rediscovery of the PGH in modern Western economics. The paper will close with the suggestion of some first possible corrections necessary for UMP to obtain a PGH consistentwith the current challenges to the global society
Estlund, David M. (1990). Mutual benevolence and the theory of happiness. Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):187-204.   (Google | More links)
Evans, Jonathan & Murphy, Peter (2008). Authenticity or happiness? Michael Scott and the ethics of self-deception (us). In Jeremy Wisnewski (ed.), The Office and Philosophy: Scenes From the Unexamined Life. Blackwell Pub..   (Google)
Feldman, Fred (2004). Cahn on foot on happiness. Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (1):3–7.   (Google | More links)
Feldman, Fred (ms). Happiness and subjective desire satisfaction: Wayne Davis's theory of happiness.   (Google)
Abstract: There is a lively debate about the descriptive concept of happiness. What do we mean when we say (using the word to express this descriptive concept) that a person is “happy”? One prominent answer is subjective local desire satisfactionism. On this view, to be happy at a time is to believe, with respect to the things that you want to be true at that time, that they are true. Wayne Davis developed and defended an interesting and sophisticated version of this view in a series of papers. I present, explain, and attempt to refute his version of the theory. I then sketch what I take to be a better theory of happiness -- a form of intrinsic attitudinal hedonism
Feldman, Fred, Happiness: Empirical research; philosophical conclusions.   (Google)
Abstract: In recent years there has been a tremendous surge of academic interest in happiness. It seems that just about every week there is an announcement of a new book on the nature of happiness, or the measurement of happiness2, or the causes of happiness, or the history of happiness3. Some of these books have been written by philosophers. Others have been written by psychologists, economists, sociologists, and other empirical scientists.4 The surge of interest in happiness is truly interdisciplinary.5 Everybody wants to get into the act
Feldman, Fred (2008). Whole life satisfaction concepts of happiness. Theoria 74 (3):219-238.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The most popular concepts of happiness among psychologists and philosophers nowadays are concepts of happiness according to which happiness is defined as "satisfaction with life as a whole". Such concepts are "Whole Life Satisfaction" (WLS) concepts of happiness. I show that there are hundreds of non-equivalent ways in which a WLS conception of happiness can be developed. However, every precise conception either requires actual satisfaction with life as a whole or requires hypothetical satisfaction with life as a whole. I show that a person can be "happy" (in any familiar sense that might be relevant to eudaimonism) at a time even though he is not actually satisfied with his life as a whole at that time. I also show that a person can be "happy" at a time even though it is not correct to say that if he were to think about his life at that time, he would be satisfied with it as a whole. My thesis is that if you think that happiness is the Good, you should avoid defining happiness as whole life satisfaction
Francis, Leslie (2010). Religion and happiness : Perspectives from the psychology of religion, positive psychology and empirical theology. In John R. Atherton, Elaine L. Graham & Ian Steedman (eds.), The Practices of Happiness: Political Economy, Religion and Wellbeing. Routledge.   (Google)
Freed, Lan (1944). Morality and Happiness. London, Williams and Norgate Ltd..   (Google)
Gaskin, Richard (1995). Julia Annas: The morality of happiness. Mind 104 (416).   (Google)
Gauthier, David P. (1967). Progress and happiness: A utilitarian reconsideration. Ethics 78 (1):77-82.   (Google | More links)
Gendler, Tamar, Five ancient secrets to modern happiness.   (Google)
Abstract: – develop self-knowledge [Socrates] – cultivate internal harmony [Plato] – foster virtue through habit [Aristotle] – cultivate and appreciate true friendship [Cicero] – recognize what is and is not in your control [Epictetus]
Godwin, William (1798). Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, and its Influence on Modern Morals and Happiness. Penguin.   (Google)
Godwin, William (1946). Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness. University of Toronto Press.   (Google)
Abstract: v. 1-2. Text -- v. 3. Critical introduction and notes.
Goldstein, Irwin (1973). Happiness:The Role of Non-hedonic Criteria in Its Evaluation. International Philosophical Quarterly:523-534.   (Google)
Abstract: “Happiness” is an evaluative, not a value-neutral psychological, concept.
Goldworth, Amnon (1969). The meaning of Bentham's greatest happiness principle. Journal of the History of Philosophy 7 (3).   (Google)
Gosling, J. C. B. (1982). The Greeks on Pleasure. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Provides a critical and analytical history of ancient Greek theories on the nature of pleasure, and of its value and rolein human lfie, from the ealriest times down to the period of Epicurus and the early Stoics
Graham, Elaine (2010). The "virtuous circle" : Religion and the practices of happiness. In John R. Atherton, Elaine L. Graham & Ian Steedman (eds.), The Practices of Happiness: Political Economy, Religion and Wellbeing. Routledge.   (Google)
Grenholm, Carl-Henric (2010). Happiness, welfare and capabilities. In John R. Atherton, Elaine L. Graham & Ian Steedman (eds.), The Practices of Happiness: Political Economy, Religion and Wellbeing. Routledge.   (Google)
Greene, Theodore M. (1956). Life, value, happiness. Journal of Philosophy 53 (10):317-330.   (Google | More links)
Gregg, Susan (2003). Mastering the Toltec Way: A Daily Guide to Happiness, Freedom, and Joy. Red Wheel.   (Google)
Abstract: By the light of the moon -- Seeing -- Going inside -- Our magical bodies -- And then there were words -- Awakening -- Beyond the mists -- Heaven on earth -- What would love do? -- Circle of light -- The love and the laughter -- Life is but a dream -- Mirror, mirror on the wall.
Greenberg, Allan (1955). On a concept of happiness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 16 (2):286-287.   (Google | More links)
Grinde, Bjørn (2005). Darwinian happiness: Can the evolutionary perspective on well-being help us improve society? World Futures 61 (4):317 – 329.   (Google)
Abstract: The concept of Darwinian Happiness was coined to help people take advantage of knowledge on how evolution has shaped the brain; as processes within this organ are the main contributors to well-being. Fortuitously, the concept has implications that may prove beneficial for society: Compassionate behavior offers more in terms of Darwinian Happiness than malicious behavior; and the probability of obtaining sustainable development may be improved by pointing out that consumption beyond sustenance is not important for well-being. It is difficult to motivate people to act against their own best interests. Darwinian Happiness offers a concept that, to some extent, combines the interests of the individual with the interests of society
Griffin, James (1979). Is unhappiness morally more important than happiness? Philosophical Quarterly 29 (114):47-55.   (Google | More links)
Guriev, Sergei M. & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina V. (ms). (Un)happiness in transition.   (Google)
Abstract:      Despite the strong growth performance in transition countries in the last decade, residents of transition countries report abnormally low levels of life satisfaction. Using data from multiple sources including a recent survey in 28 post-communist countries, we study various explanations of this phenomenon. We find that deterioration in public goods provision, an increase in macroeconomic volatility, and a mismatch of human capital explain a great deal of the difference in life satisfaction between transition countries and other countries with similar income. The rest of the gap is explained by the difference in the quality of the samples. As in other countries, life satisfaction in transition is strongly related to income; but due to a higher non-response of high-income individuals in transition countries, the effect of GDP growth on the increase in life satisfaction estimated using survey data is biased downwards. The evidence suggests that if the region keeps growing at current rates, the life satisfaction in transition countries will catch up with the normal level in the near future
Guyer, Paul (2000). Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness. Cambridge University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Kant is often portrayed as the author of a rigid system of ethics in which adherence to a formal and universal principle of morality - the famous categorical imperative - is an end itself, and any concern for human goals and happiness a strictly secondary and subordinate matter. Such a theory seems to suit perfectly rational beings but not human beings. The twelve essays in this collection by one of the world's preeminent Kant scholars argue for a radically different account of Kant's ethics. They explore an interpretation of the moral philosophy according to which freedom is the fundamental end of human action, but an end that can only be preserved and promoted by adherence to moral law. By radically revising the traditional interpretation of Kant's moral and political philosophy and by showing how Kant's coherent liberalism can guide us in current debates, Paul Guyer will find an audience across moral and political philosophy, intellectual history, and political science
Hadot, Pierre (2009). The Present Alone is Our Happiness: Conversations with Jeannie Carlier and Arnold I. Davidson. Stanford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Tied to the apron strings of the church -- Researcher, teacher, philosopher -- Philosophical discourse -- Interpretation, objectivity and nonsense -- Unitary experience and philosophical life -- Philosophical discourse as spiritual exercise -- Philosophy as life and as a quest for wisdom -- From Socrates to Foucault : a long tradition -- Inacceptable? -- The present alone is our happiness.
Hagberg, Garry (1984). Understanding happiness. Mind 93 (372):589-591.   (Google | More links)
Hallett, Garth (1971). Happiness. Heythrop Journal 12 (3):301–303.   (Google | More links)
Hall, Cheryl (2010). The habitual route to environmentally friendly (or unfriendly) happiness. Ethics, Place and Environment 13 (1):19 – 22.   (Google)
Abstract: I agree with Andreou that people are 'highly adaptable when it comes to material goods.' But I would supplement her point about the influence of social comparisons on experiences of happiness with a point about the influence of habit. Andreou does briefly mention habituation, arguing that 'a good will give one less happiness once one has gotten used to having it.' While this may be true, though, it is also true that one's sense of how necessary a good is to one's happiness actually increases once one has gotten used to having it. One becomes accustomed to having that good in one's life, incorporating it into one's routines, such that it becomes difficult to imagine life without it anymore. This phenomenon complicates Andreou's argument that being happy with less is possible if everyone has less: being happy with less also depends on (re)creating habits adapted to living with less
Haybron, Dan (ms). Do we know how happy we are?   (Google)
Abstract: This paper aims to show that widespread, serious errors in the self-assessment of affect are a genuine possibility—one worth taking very seriously. For we are subject to a variety of errors concerning the character of our present and past affective states, or “affective ignorance.” For example, some affects, particularly moods, can greatly affect the quality of our experience even when we are unable to discern them. I note several implications of these arguments. First, we may be less competent pursuers of happiness than is commonly believed, raising difficult questions for political thought. Second, some of the errors discussed ramify for our understanding of consciousness, including Ned Block’s controversial distinction between access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness. Third, empirical results based on self-reports about affect may be systematically misleading in certain ways
Haybron, Daniel M. (2009). Economics and happiness: Framing the analysis , edited by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi porta. Cambridge university press, 2005, XII + 366 pages. Economics and Philosophy 25 (2):217-223.   (Google)
Haybron, Daniel M. (2001). Happiness and pleasure. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):501-528.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper argues against hedonistic theories of happiness. First, hedonism is too inclusive: many pleasures cannot plausibly be construed as constitutive of happiness. Second, any credible theory must count either attitudes of life satisfaction, affective states such as mood, or both as constituents of happiness; yet neither sort of state reduces to pleasure. Hedonism errs in its attempt to reduce happiness, which is at least partly dispositional, to purely episodic experiential states. The dispositionality of happiness also undermines weakened nonreductive forms of hedonism, as some happiness-constitutive states are not pleasures in any sense. Moreover, these states can apparently fail to exhibit the usual hedonic properties; sadness, for instance, can sometimes be pleasant. Finally, the nonhedonistic accounts are adequate if not superior on grounds of practical and theoretical utility, quite apart from their superior conformity to the folk notion of happiness
Haybron, Dan (2008). Happiness, the self and human flourishing. Utilitas 20 (1):21-49.   (Google)
Abstract: It may even be held that [the intellect] is the true self of each, inasmuch as it is the dominant and better part; and therefore it would be a strange thing if a man should choose to live not his own life but the life of some other than himself. Moreover . . . that which is best and most pleasant for each creature is that which is proper to the nature of each; accordingly the life of the intellect is the best and the pleasantest life for man, inasmuch as the intellect more than anything else is man
Haybron, Dan (ms). Life satisfaction, ethical reflection, and the science of happiness.   (Google)
Abstract: Life satisfaction is widely considered to be a central aspect of human welfare. Many have identified happiness with it, and some maintain that well-being consists largely or wholly in being satisfied with one’s life. Empirical research on well-being relies heavily on life satisfaction studies. The paper contends that life satisfaction attitudes are less important, and matter for different reasons, than is widely believed. For such attitudes are appropriately governed by ethical norms and are perspectival in ways that make the relationship between life satisfaction and welfare far more convoluted than we tend to expect. And the common identification of life satisfaction with happiness, as well as widespread views about the centrality of life satisfaction for well-being, are problematical at best. The argument also reveals an unexpected way in which philosophical ethics can inform scientific psychology: specifically, ethical reflection can help explain empirical results insofar as they depend on people’s values
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Haybron, Dan (ms). Two philosophical problems in the study of happiness.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I discuss two philosophical issues that hold special interest for empirical researchers studying happiness. The first issue concerns the question of how the psychological notion(s) of happiness invoked in empirical research relates to those traditionally employed by philosophers. The second concerns the question of how we ought to conceive of happiness, understood as a purely psychological phenomenon. With respect to the first, I argue that ‘happiness’, as used in the philosophical literature, has three importantly different senses that are often confused. Empirical research on happiness concerns only one of these senses, and serious misunderstandings about the significance of empirical results can arise from such confusion. I then argue that the second question is indeed philosophical and that, in order to understand the nature of (what I call) psychological happiness, we need first to determine what a theory of happiness is supposed to do: what are our theoretical and practical interests in the notion of happiness? I sketch an example of how such an inquiry might proceed, and argue that this approach can shed more light on the nature and significance of happiness (and related mental states) than traditional philosophical methods
Haybron, Daniel M., What do we want from a theory of happiness?   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I defend a methodology for theorizing about happiness conceived as a type of psychological state. I reject three methods: conceptual or linguistic analysis; scientific naturalism—deferring to our best scientific theories of happiness; and what I call the “pure normative adequacy” approach, according to which the best conception of happiness is the one that best fulfills a particular role in moral theory (e.g., utility). The concept of happiness is foremost a folk notion employed by laypersons who have various practical interests in the matter, and theories of happiness should respect this fact. I identify four such interests in broad terms and then argue for a set of seven desiderata that any theory of happiness ought to satisfy. Though happiness is a psychological kind, its practical character means that the theory of happiness falls within the province of ethics. It should, however, be viewed as autonomous and not merely secondary to moral theory
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Kamtekar, Rachana (ms). Social justice and happiness in the republic: Plato's two principles.   (Google)
Abstract: rally best suited’. One would ordinarily suppose social justice to concern not only the allocation of duties but also the distribution of benefits. I argue that this expectation is fulfilled not by Plato’s conception of social justice, but by the normative basis for it, Plato’s requirement of aiming at the happiness of all the citizens. I argue that Plato treats social justice as a necessary but not sufficient means to happiness that guarantees only the production of the greatest goods; ensuring that these goods are distributed so as to maximize the happiness of the whole city..
Kasser, Tim & Sheldon, Kennon M. (forthcoming). Time affluence as a path toward personal happiness and ethical business practice: Empirical evidence from four studies. Journal of Business Ethics.   (Google)
Abstract: Many business practices focus on maximizing material affluence, or wealth, despite the fact that a growing empirical literature casts doubt on whether money can buy happiness. We therefore propose that businesses consider the possibility of “time affluence” as an alternative model for improving employee well-being and ethical business practice. Across four studies, results consistently showed that, even after controlling for material affluence, the experience of time affluence was positively related to subjective well-being. Studies 3 and 4 further demonstrated that the experience of mindfulness and the satisfaction of psychological needs partially mediated the positive associations between time affluence and well-being. Future research directions and implications for ethical business practices are discussed
Katsafanas, Paul (forthcoming). Deriving Ethics from Action: A Nietzschean Version of Constitutivism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.   (Google)
Abstract: This paper has two goals. First, I offer an interpretation of Nietzsche’s puzzling claims about will to power. I argue that the will to power thesis is a version of constitutivism. Constitutivism is the view that we can derive substantive normative conclusions from an account of the nature of agency; in particular, constitutivism rests on the idea that all actions are motivated by a common, higher-order aim, whose presence generates a standard of assessment for actions. Nietzsche’s version of constitutivism is based on a series of subtle claims about the psychology of willing and the nature of satisfaction, which imply that all actions aim at encountering and overcoming resistance (this is what Nietzsche means by “will to power”). Second, I argue that Nietzsche’s theory, thus interpreted, generates a new, a posteriori version of constitutivism that is not vulnerable to certain familiar objections. If this is right, then we can deploy Nietzschean ideas in order to make a substantive contribution to issues that are currently at the forefront of ethics and action theory.
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Korsmeyer, Carolyn (2010). What beauty promises:: Reflections on Alexander Nehamas, only a promise of happiness: The place of beauty in a world of art. British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2).   (Google)
Abstract: Alexander Nehamas calls beauty a ‘promise of happiness’ and claims that it is an object of love. While this approach appealingly places beauty at the center of both artistic passion and everyday life, it also renders it riskily personal. This discussion raises two main questions to Nehamas. The first question regards the role of happiness in the concept of beauty, for many beautiful artworks seem to acknowledge the inevitability of sorrow rather than its opposite. The second question concerns how beauty may be both personal and grounded in factors sufficiently outside the self to safeguard it against the instability of individual preferences. To explore the latter issue, Nehamas's ideas are compared to those of another Platonist, Iris Murdoch. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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Abstract: Incommensurability and tragic conflict -- The business of order -- The real thing -- Virtue and the twofold order -- Practical reason and final ends -- Natural hierarchy and moral obligation -- Conflict -- The virtues of conflict.
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Abstract: Many commentators have remarked upon the striking points of correspondence that can be found in the works of Freud and Nietzsche. However, this essay argues that on the subject of desire their work presents us with a radical choice: Freud or Nietzsche. I first argue that Freud’s theory of desire is grounded in the principle of inertia, a principle that is incompatible with his later theory of Eros and the life drive. Furthermore, the principle of inertia is not essentially distinct from his later theory of the death drive. Consequently, Freud’s theory of desire can only be interpreted consistently as a monism of the death drive. I then analyze Nietzsche’s attempt to ground his theory of desire in the concept of the will to power. I argue that Nietzsche’s view of desire is fundamentally opposed to the key elements of Freud’s theory of desire: the principle of constancy, the Freudian definition of the drive, and the pleasure principle. Next, I explicate the stakes of this opposition by analyzing the social consequences of each view for morality and justice. I argue that the Freudian subject seeks to dominate the social other, and that there is an insurmountable conflict between the satisfaction of desire and the demands of social life. Consequently, Freud’s view allows only for a negative conception of the social good in which morality is defined as the intrinsically impossible task of eliminating evil, and justice can be achieved only through the equal distribution of instinctual frustration. Finally, I argue that in Nietzsche’s theory of desire there is no essential conflict between individual desire and social life. The Nietzschean subject desires to manifest power in the form of activity that is independent of external agents, not to dominate the other. Consequently, Nietzsche’s view allows for the possibility of a positively defined concept of the social good in which morality is the affirmation and enhancement of every subject’s happiness, and justice can be achieved through the promotion and protection of an equality of power among subjects.
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Abstract: We argue that the self-experimentation espoused by Roberts as a means of generating new ideas, particularly in the area of mood, may be confounded by the experimental procedure eliciting those affective changes. We further suggest that ideas might be better generated through contact with a broad range of people, rather than in isolation
Morgan, Arthur E. (1934). An attempt to measure happiness. International Journal of Ethics 44 (2):236-243.   (Google | More links)
Nehamas, Alexander (2007). Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art. Princeton University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Neither art nor philosophy was kind to beauty during the twentieth century. Much modern art disdains beauty, and many philosophers deeply suspect that beauty merely paints over or distracts us from horrors. Intellectuals consigned the passions of beauty to the margins, replacing them with the anemic and rarefied alternative, "aesthetic pleasure." In Only a Promise of Happiness , Alexander Nehamas reclaims beauty from its critics. He seeks to restore its place in art, to reestablish the connections among art, beauty, and desire, and to show that the values of art, independently of their moral worth, are equally crucial to the rest of life. Nehamas makes his case with characteristic grace, sensitivity, and philosophical depth, supporting his arguments with searching studies of art and literature, high and low, from Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and Manet's Olympia to television. Throughout, the discussion of artworks is generously illustrated. Beauty, Nehamas concludes, may depend on appearance, but this does not make it superficial. The perception of beauty manifests a hope that life would be better if the object of beauty were part of it. This hope can shape and direct our lives for better or worse. We may discover misery in pursuit of beauty, or find that beauty offers no more than a tantalizing promise of happiness. But if beauty is always dangerous, it is also a pressing human concern that we must seek to understand, and not suppress
Nelson, William N. (1994). Mutual benevolence and happiness. Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):50-51.   (Google | More links)
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Abstract: : This paper is a cultural studies analysis of the Microsoft computer video game, ZooTycoon™. Through a critical reading using the "circuit of culture," questions of the gamer's subject position, the role of wildlife and implicit and explicit messages about contemporary attitudes toward the environment are explored. Drawing on Susan Davis' book, Spectacular Nature: Corporate Culture and the Sea World Experience (1997), this paper unpacks the virtual theme parks created in Zoo Tycoon™ for their (dis)continuities with Davis's findings. The virtual animals are found to serve as both labor and products in this game that teaches capitalist business strategy and managerial skills. This popular culture text is an example of a product that harnesses the environmental impulse and redirects that impulse back into commodity capitalism
Panos Dimas, (2002). Happiness in the euthydemus. Phronesis 47 (1):1-27.   (Google)
Abstract: Departing on a demonstration which aims to show to young Cleinias how one ought to care about wisdom and virtue, Socrates asks at 278e2 whether people want to do well (ευ πραττειν). Eυ πραττειν is ambiguous. It can mean being happy and prospering, or doing what is right and doing it well. Socrates will later exploit this ambiguity, but at this point he uses this expression merely to announce his conviction that every human being (pathological cases aside, perhaps) desires to be happy (278e2-7). He does not examine how this desire figures in the psychology of action. Instead, and more fundamentally, he seeks to identify the things that would make us happy, or the good things as he calls them (279a2-4). In this passage, only those things are said to be good that make their possessor happy. Socrates does not present his view on what it is to be happy. But he goes on to advance confidently controversial claims about which things are good for us to possess and which are not. In and of itself, this implies that he has a view on happiness which enables him to identify these things, even though he does not offer an explicit statement of it. Here, I attempt to articulate the conception of happiness that is presupposed by Socrates in this passage. Since he does not reveal it explicitly, I will have to use the information he offers in which it is revealed implicitly. More precisely, I am going to ask what sort of a conception of happiness and unhappiness we need to attribute to Socrates in order to explain adequately his claims about what makes us happy and unhappy. To test the adequacy of the articulation I develop, I examine whether it can help us make sense of these claims and his defence for them. The same test of adequacy I apply also to some influential interpretations already on offer
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Abstract: While there is much common ground between the writings of Amartya Sen and John Stuart Mill – particularly in their advocacy of freedom and gender equality – one is a critic, while the other is an advocate, of utilitarianism. In spite of this contrast, there are strong echoes of Sen's capability approach in Mill's writings. Inasmuch as Mill sees the capability to be happy as important he holds a form of capability approach. He also thinks of happiness as constituted by the exercise of certain capabilities (including the higher faculties). Furthermore, Mill addresses the possibility that people can adapt to limited opportunity, which is central to Sen's critique of some ‘utility’-based views. By contrasting contentment and happiness Mill suggests one way in which a utilitarian might address cases of adaptation. His discussions of capabilities and of adaptation are consistent with his utilitarianism. (Published Online February 16 2006)
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Abstract: Moral and financial scandals emerging in recent years around the world have created the momentum for reconsidering the role of virtuousness in organizational settings. This empirical study seeks to contribute toward maintaining this momentum. We answer to researchers’ suggestions that the exploratory study carried out by Cameron et al. (Am Behav Sci 47(6):766–790, 2004 ), which related organizational virtuousness (OV) and performance, must be pursued employing their measure of OV in other contexts and in relation to other outcomes (Wright and Goodstein, J Manage 33(6):928–958, 2007 ). Two hundred and sixteen employees reported their perceptions of OV and their affective well-being (AWB) at work (one of the main indicators of employees’ happiness), their supervisors reporting their organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). The main finding is that the perceptions of OV predict some OCB both directly and through the mediating role of AWB. The evidence suggests that OV is worthy of a higher status in the business and organizational psychology literatures
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Abstract: The New Yorker calls him "the most influential living philosopher." His critics call him "the most dangerous man in the world." Peter Singer, the De Camp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University's Center for Human Values, is most widely and controversially known for his view that animals have the same moral status as humans. He is the author of many books, including Practical Ethics (1979), Rethinking Life and Death (1995), and Animal Liberation (1975), which has sold more than 450,000 copies. This year he published Writings on an Ethical Life (Ecco Press) and A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation (Yale University Press), which argues that the left must replace Marx with Darwin if it is to remain a viable force
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Abstract: In the modern day, it is understood that the role of the teacher comprises aspects of therapy directed towards the child. But to what extent should this relationship be developed, and what are its concomitant responsibilities? This book offers a challenging philosophical approach to the inherent problems and tensions involved with these issues
Smith, Richard (2008). The long slide to happiness. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (3-4):559-573.   (Google)
Abstract: The recent wave of interest in 'teaching happiness' is beset by problems. It consists of many different emphases and approaches, many of which are inconsistent with each other. If happiness is understood as essentially a matter of 'feeling good', then it is difficult to account for the fact that we want and value all sorts of things that do not make us particularly happy. In education and in life more broadly we value a wider diversity of goods. Such criticisms are standard in philosophical treatments of happiness and can be found across a range of imaginative literature—perhaps the kinds of books that would no longer be read if the proponents of 'teaching happiness' were to have their way
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Suissa, Judith (2008). Lessons from a new science? On teaching happiness in schools. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (3-4):575-590.   (Google)
Abstract: Recent media reports about new programmes for 'happiness lessons' in schools signal a welcome concern with children's well-being. However, as I shall argue, the presuppositions of the discourse in which many of these proposals are framed, and their orientation towards particular strands of positive psychology, involve ideas about human life that are, in an important sense, anti-educational
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Abstract: Moral philosophers agree that welfare matters. But they disagree about what it is, or how much it matters. In this vital new work, Wayne Sumner presents an original theory of welfare, investigating its nature and discussing its importance. He considers and rejects all notable theories of welfare, both objective and subjective, including hedonism and theories founded on desire or preference. His own theory connects welfare closely with happiness or life satisfaction. Reacting against the value pluralism that currently dominates moral philosophy, he advances welfare as the only basic ethical value. He concludes by discussing the implications of this thesis for ethical and political theory. Written in clear, non-technical language, and including a definitive survey of other work in this area, Sumner's book is essential reading for moral philosophers, political theorists, and welfare economists
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Tim O'Keefe, (2002). The cyrenaics on pleasure, happiness, and future-concern. Phronesis 47 (4):395-416.   (Google)
Abstract: The Cyrenaics assert that (1) particular pleasure is the highest good, and happiness is valued not for its own sake, but only for the sake of the particular pleasures that compose it; (2) we should not forego present pleasures for the sake of obtaining greater pleasure in the future. Their anti-eudaimonism and lack of future-concern do not follow from their hedonism. So why do they assert (1) and (2)? After reviewing and criticizing the proposals put forward by Annas, Irwin and Tsouna, I offer two possible reconstructions. In the first reconstruction, I explain claim (1) as follows: happiness has no value above and beyond the value of the particular pleasures that compose it. Also, there is no "structure" to happiness. The Cyrenaics are targeting the thesis that happiness involves having the activities of one's life forming an organized whole, the value of which cannot be reduced to the value of the experiences within that life. I explain claim (2) as follows: a maximally pleasant life is valuable, but the best way to achieve it is to concentrate heedlessly on the present. In the second reconstruction, the good is radically relativized to one's present preferences. The Cyrenaics assert that we desire some particular pleasure, e.g., the pleasure that results from having this drink now. Thus, our telos - which is based upon our desires - is this particular pleasure, not (generic) 'pleasure' or the maximization of pleasure over our lifetime. As our desires change, so does our telos. I conclude that the scanty texts we have do not allow us to decide conclusively between these reconstructions, but I give some reasons to support the second over the first
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Wang, Stephen (2009). Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the Possibility of Happiness. Catholic University of America Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Historical introduction -- Human being -- Identity and human incompletion in Sartre -- Identity and human incompletion in Aquinas -- Human understanding -- The subjective nature of objective understanding in Sartre -- The subjective nature of objective understanding in Aquinas -- Human freedom -- Freedom, choice, and the indetermination of reason in Sartre -- Freedom, choice, and the indetermination of reason in Aquinas -- Human fulfillment -- The possibility of human happiness in Sartre -- The possibility of human happiness in Aquinas.
Wang, Stephen (2006). Human incompletion, happiness, and the desire for God in Sartre's being and nothingness. Sartre Studies International 12 (1):1-17.   (Google)
Abstract: Jean-Paul Sartre argues that human beings are fundamentally incomplete. Self-consciousness brings with it a presence-to-self. Human beings consequently seek two things at the same time: to possess a secure and stable identity, and to preserve the freedom and distance that come with self-consciousness. This is an impossible ideal, since we are always beyond what we are and we never quite reach what we could be. The possibility of completion haunts us and we continue to search for it even when we are convinced it can never be achieved. Sartre suggests that we have to continue seeking this ideal in the practical sphere, even when our philosophical reflection shows it to be an impossibility. Sartre puts this existential dilemma in explicitly theological terms. 'God' represents an ideal synthesis of being and consciousness which remains a self-contradictory goal. This dilemma remains unresolved in his thinking
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White, Stephen A. (1992). Sovereign Virtue: Aristotle on the Relation Between Happiness and Prosperity. Stanford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: The central subject of Aristotle's ethics is happiness or living well. Most people in his day (as in ours), eager to enjoy life, impressed by worldly success, and fearful of serious loss, believed that happiness depends mainly on fortune in achieving prosperity and avoiding adversity. Aristotle, however, argues that virtuous conduct is the governing factor in living well and attaining happiness. While admitting that neither the blessings not the afflictions of fortune are unimportant, he maintains that the virtuous find life more satisfying than other people do and, with only modest good fortune, they lead happy, enjoyable lives. Combining philological precision with philosophical analysis, the author reconstructs Aristotle's defense of these bold claims. By examining how Aristotle develops his position in response to the prevailing hopes and anxieties of his age, the author shows why Aristotle considers happiness important for ethics and why he thinks it necessary to revise popular and traditional views. Paying close attention throughout to the internalist dimension of Aristotle's approach - his emphasis on how the virtuous view their own lives and actions - the author advances new interpretations of Aristotle's accounts of several major virtues, including temperance, courage, liberality, and 'greatness of soul'. This work sets Aristotle in the broader cultural context of his time, tracing his attemps to accommodate and amend rival views. The author examines literary and historical sources as well as philosophical texts, showing the inherited values and traditional ideals that inform Aristotle's discussions and provide some of the basis for his conclusions. Presupposing no knowledge of Greek or specialized philosophical terminology, the book is designed to be accessible to all students of philosophy or classical antiquity. All quotations from ancient texts are translated
Wike, Victoria S. (1987). The role of happiness in kant'sgroundwork. Journal of Value Inquiry 21 (1).   (Google)
Wilkinson, Will (2007). In Pursuit of Happiness Research: Is It Reliable? What Does It Imply for Policy? Cato Institute Policy Analysis 590.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: "Happiness research" studies the correlates of subjective well-being, generally through survey methods. A number of psychologists and social scientists have drawn upon this work recently to argue that the American model of relatively limited government and a dynamic market economy corrodes happiness, whereas Western European and Scandinavian-style social democracies promote it. This paper argues that happiness research in fact poses no threat to the relatively libertarian ideals embodied in the U.S. socioeconomic system. Happiness research is seriously hampered by confusion and disagreement about the definition of its subject as well as the limitations inherent in current measurement techniques. In its present state happiness research cannot be relied on as an authoritative source for empirical information about happiness, which, in any case, is not a simple empirical phenomenon but a cultural and historical moving target. Yet, even if we accept the data of happiness research at face value, few of the alleged redistributive policy implications actually follow from the evidence. The data show that neither higher rates of government redistribution nor lower levels of income inequality make us happier, whereas high levels of economic freedom and high average incomes are among the strongest correlates of subjective well-being. Even if we table the damning charges of questionable science and bad moral philosophy, the American model still comes off a glowing success in terms of happiness.
Wilson, Fred (1982). Mill's proof that happiness is the criterion of morality. Journal of Business Ethics 1 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: This paper considers the converse of the principle that ought implies can, namely, the principle that must implies ought. It argues that this principle is the central premiss for Mill's argument that happiness is desirable (worthy of desire), and it examines the sense of must that is relevant and the implications it has for Mill's moral philosophy
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Wright, William K. (1908). Happiness as an ethical postulate. Philosophical Review 17 (5):518-528.   (Google | More links)