Valuing Happiness

Mike W. Martin

in Happiness and the Good Life

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199845217
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933068 | DOI:
Valuing Happiness

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Morally good lives are not always happy, and happy lives are not always morally good. Nevertheless, happiness and morality are connected in a variety of ways. Happiness is one of the basic goods for a human being. It is a moral good, as well as a self-interested good, at least when it is not based directly on immorality. Although it is intrinsically good, its value increases as it intertwines with morality and other aspects of good lives. Thus, loving our lives has greater worth insofar as our lives are worth loving, and our enjoyments and sense of meaning have greater worth insofar as they are rooted in justified values. In addition to a right to pursue happiness, there is a limited responsibility (rooted in self-respect) to pursue happiness. In addition, the virtues promote happiness, and vice versa.

Keywords: happiness; moral goods; responsibility; self-respect; rights; virtues

Chapter.  6659 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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