Nicholas P. White's A Brief History of Happiness PDF

By Nicholas P. White

Will we fairly comprehend what happiness is? should still happiness play the sort of dominant position in shaping and orienting our lives? and the way will we take care of conflicts among a few of the issues that make us chuffed? during this short background of happiness, thinker Nicholas White studies 2,500 years of makes an attempt to respond to such questions. White considers the ways that significant thinkers from antiquity to the current day have taken care of happiness: from Platos thought of the concord of the soul and Aristotles account of overall healthiness or flourishing because the target of a moral existence, to Aquinas notion of the imaginative and prescient of the divine essence, Benthams hedonistic calculus, and the modern day decision-theoretic thought of choice. We additionally come upon skepticism in regards to the very inspiration of a whole and constant notion of happiness within the writings of Nietzsche and Freud. all through, White relates questions about happiness to significant issues in ethics and useful philosophy.

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If aims and the like are in question, just take the amount of pleasure associated with each option, and use that to measure its value and its contribution to happiness. ) If the options 44 ABHC03 Hedonism and the Measurement of Happiness 44 1/11/05, 12:02 PM are pleasures themselves, then just measure their quantities and compare them. Then pick the option with the highest value according to this measure. In principle, it seems, nothing could be simpler or more compelling. ” However, they share enough features with views that are plainly hedonist that they’re appropriately mentioned here.

On this view, there are rational considerations that compete with happiness to govern a reasonable person’s decisions. The most important example of such a consideration would be morality. The idea would be that there can be a conflict, in deciding what to do, between one’s own happiness and the demands of morality, conceived as something distinct from it. , simply can’t be pulled together into a coherent whole. They thus couldn’t be all taken into consideration in forming a single, all-embracing assessment of a person’s condition.

These are the judgments that should govern our evaluations and actions, and enable an appropriate harmonization of aims. In this way Plato ends up espousing an integration of the personality and its aims that’s both synchronic and diachronic. To achieve this result the Republic favors a person’s having a single function or occupation. In the Gorgias he speaks for an orderly arrangement of desires and satisfactions. He urges us to consider painters . . or house-builders or shipwrights or any other craftsmen you please, and see how each one puts what he does into a certain structure, and forces one thing to be suited to another and to fit with it, until the entire object is put together in an organized and structured way.

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A Brief History of Happiness by Nicholas P. White


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