Happiness and the Good Life

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Oxford University Press, USA, 2012 - Philosophy - 230 pages
What is happiness? How is it related to morality and virtue? Does living with illusion promote or diminish happiness? Is it better to pursue happiness with a partner than alone? Philosopher Mike W. Martin addresses these and other questions as he connects the meaning of happiness with the philosophical notion of "the good life." Defining happiness as loving one's life and valuing it in ways manifested by ample enjoyment and a deep sense of meaning, Martin explores the ways in which happiness interacts with all other dimensions of good lives-in particular with moral decency and goodness, authenticity, mental health, self-fulfillment, and meaningfulness. He interweaves a variety of examples from memoirs, novels, and films along the way, connecting his discussion of the philosophical issues to related topics that interest all of us: virtue, love, philanthropy, suffering, simplicity, balancing work and leisure, and much more. Drawing on wide-ranging and robust evidence, Martin also makes the case that we need a "politics of happiness" whereby government would apply the results of recent "happiness studies" in psychology to public policy.
 

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Contents

1 Loving Life
3
2 Valuing Happiness
20
3 Betting on Virtue
34
4 Authenticity
51
5 Happily SelfDeceived
64
6 Suffering in Happy Lives
78
7 Paradoxes of Happiness
91
8 Happy to Help
107
10 Balancing Work and Leisure
130
11 Simplicity
144
12 Felicity in Frankenstein
155
13 Personal and Political
170
Notes
187
Bibliography
211
Index
225
Copyright

9 Shared Pursuits in Love
119

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About the author (2012)

Mike W. Martin is Professor of Philosophy at Chapman University, in Orange, California.He specializes in applied ethics, and his books include From Morality to Mental Health: Virtue and Vice in a Therapeutic Culture (Oxford, 2006) and Meaningful Work: Rethinking Professional Ethics (Oxford, 2000).

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