Chapter

Loving Life

Mike W. Martin

in Happiness and the Good Life

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199845217
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933068 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199845217.003.0001
Loving Life

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Happiness is loving one’s life, valuing it in ways manifested by ample enjoyment and a robust sense of meaning. This definition is in tune with predominant contemporary concepts of happiness as subjective, that is, as defined primarily in terms of emotions, attitudes, and other subjective states; yet it also makes reference to lives as unfolded as narrative histories in the world. Unlike normative definitions that stipulate that happiness centers on virtuous living, subjective definitions allow that we might be very happy but not very moral; indeed, there might be contented crooks, satisfied sociopaths, and even a happy Hitler. Nevertheless, happiness is one vital aspect of fully worthwhile lives, and it interacts in complex ways with other aspects, including moral decency, authenticity, mental health, self-fulfillment, and meaning in terms of justified values.

Keywords: happiness; loving life; definitions of happiness; subjective well-being; virtues

Chapter.  8202 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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