Joel J. Kupperman

in Character

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780195096545
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852918 | DOI:

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This chapter explains the importance of happiness and the definition of a valuable life. John Stuart Mill ties happiness to satisfaction of desire, and equates it with pleasure toward which, he contends, all desires ultimately point. Kant discusses happiness as the common focus of goal-directed behavior. Aristotle illustrates that a person's degree of eudaemonia (a Greek word commonly translated as happiness) depended heavily on that person's possession and exercise of excellences, including intellectual abilities and moral virtues. Value of a life as simply its degree of happiness has considerable plausibility. A very good life requires a strong and moderately good character. A happy life will have to contain some value within itself, in virtue of what happiness involves, this value need not be above the average of lives, so that the happy life need not count as a good one.

Keywords: value; happiness; eudaemonia; values; Utilitarianism; pleasure; virtue; depravation of taste; liberalism; mutatis mutandis

Chapter.  11380 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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