Chapter

Personal and Political

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/9780199845217.003.0013
Personal and Political

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Should laws and government policies be guided by what positive psychologists are discovering about happiness? A number of distinguished thinkers contend that public policy should and will be increasingly informed by scientific studies of happiness. Their main contention is that increasing wealth does not greatly increase happiness, and that scientific discoveries indicate what will. These advocates of politics of happiness are right about the need to take the science of happiness seriously, but wrong when they sometimes elevate happiness above all other important dimensions of good lives. Even when wealth does not contribute to happiness it can still have great importance in contributing to good lives. I conclude the book by summarizing the connections between happiness and other dimensions of good lives, drawing on parallels with Goethe.

Keywords: happiness; politics of happiness; positive psychology; economics; Goethe

Chapter.  7463 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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