Mike W. Martin

in Happiness and the Good Life

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

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Be yourself, we are told, and happiness will follow. Discovering and developing our “authentic self” does indeed contribute to happiness by tapping into wellsprings of enjoyment and meaning. Yet authenticity is not a simple or sure guide to happiness. It is not even an independent guide, for what makes us happy is itself an important indicator of our deepest desires. Moreover, authenticity has multiple aspects that can be in tension with each other: wholehearted caring, self-honesty, self-acceptance, self-creation, and self-realization. In addition, authenticity connects with other values that can be in tension with happiness. Decisions about whether to use biomedical enhancements provide helpful illustrations of these complexities.

Keywords: happiness; authenticity; self-honesty; self-acceptance; self-fulfillment; biomedical enhancements

Chapter.  6142 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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