Happiness and the Limits of Satisfaction
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Popular Views of Happiness
The Case of Anna Karenina
The Rejection of Psychological Happiness
The Shadow of Eudaemonism
The Enigma of Jeffersons Pursuit
The Science of Happiness and Its Results
Recent Philosophical Views
Other editions - View all
action activity actual affect American Aquinas Aquinas's argues Aristotle attempt attitude basic become belong Books called century character choice claims classical common complete concept concern consequence considered desire direct earthly emotions eternal Ethics eudaemonism eudaemonistic eudaimonia example existence experience fact feeling final final end follow freedom give given human nature idea important individual issue judgment kind lack less lives meaning mind moral necessary ness notion object once one's pain passion perfect person philosophers piness pleasure political positive possess possible present principle problem psychological pursue pursuit of happiness question rational reason rejection remains requires result satisfaction satisfied seek seen sense social society Studies subjective suffering theory things Thomas thought tion tradition Trans unhappiness University Press virtue vision well-being well-feeling whole York