Book

What Is This Thing Called Happiness?

Fred Feldman

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199571178
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722547 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571178.001.0001
What Is This Thing Called Happiness?

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This book is a philosophical study of the nature and value of happiness. Part I is devoted to critical discussion of the most important theories about the nature of happiness, understood as some sort of psychological state. Views discussed include sensory hedonism, local preferentism, Kahneman's theory, and Whole Life Satisfactionism. Part II of the book contains the exposition and defense of a novel theory about the nature and value of happiness. It is a form of attitudinal hedonism. The idea that a person's welfare, or well‐being, depends essentially on happiness is explained and (with reservations) defended, provided that happiness is understood according to the theory presented here. Part III of the book extends the discussion into some areas that bear on interactions between empirical research concerning happiness and philosophical inquiry into the same phenomenon. Current methods of measuring happiness are criticized and a new method is proposed. Philosophical implications of empirical research concerning happiness are evaluated.

Keywords: happiness; eudaimonism; welfare; well‐being; hedonism; utility; preference; Kahneman; satisfaction; whole life satisfaction; subjective well‐being; Tatarkiewicz; pleasure; Sen; Sumner; Diener; measurement; Layard; MRI

Book.  304 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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Table of Contents

Some Puzzles about Happiness in What Is This Thing Called Happiness?

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Sensory Hedonism about Happiness in What Is This Thing Called Happiness?

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Eudaimonism in What Is This Thing Called Happiness?

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Disgusting Happiness in What Is This Thing Called Happiness?

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