Suffering In Happy Lives

Mike W. Martin

in Happiness and the Good Life

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199845217
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933068 | DOI:
Suffering In Happy Lives

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Is happiness compatible with suffering? The answer is complicated. Nothing can protect us from tragedies that destroy what we cherish most, and thereby undermine happiness. Yet much suffering can be integrated into happy lives, depending significantly on our attitudes. As is often said, suffering can deepen joy and meaning. Not surprising, philosophical perspectives on the value of suffering in good lives both reflect and shape conceptions of happiness. Examples include John Dewey, Jeremy Bentham, and Arthur Schopenhauer.

Keywords: happiness; suffering; mental health; neurosis; John Dewey; Jeremy Bentham; Arthur Schopenhauer

Chapter.  6280 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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