Chapter

Who Is the Happy Warrior? Philosophy Poses Questions to Psychology

Martha C. Nussbaum

in Law and Happiness

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226676005
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226676029 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226676029.003.0004
Who Is the Happy Warrior? Philosophy Poses Questions to Psychology

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Psychology has recently focused attention on subjective states of pleasure, satisfaction, and what is called “happiness.” The suggestion made in some quarters is that a study of these subjective states has important implications for public policy. Sometimes, as in the case of Martin Seligman's “positive psychology” movement, attempts are made to link the empirical findings and the related normative judgments directly to the descriptive and normative insights of ancient Greek ethics and modern virtue ethics. The aim of this chapter is to confront this increasingly influential movement within psychology with a range of questions from the side of philosophy. Often these questions have a very long history in the discipline, going back at least to Aristotle; the more thoughtful Utilitarians, above all Mill, also studied them in depth. Some of these questions are conceptual; others are normative.

Keywords: positive psychology; Martin Seligman; pleasure; satisfaction; happiness; philosophy; public policy; ethics; Utilitarians

Chapter.  13943 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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