Happiness and Goodness: Philosophical Reflections on Living Well

Paperback | June 9, 2015

bySteven M. Cahn, Christine VitranoForeword byRobert Talisse

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How should we evaluate the success of each person's life? Countering the prevalent philosophical perspective on the subject, Steven M. Cahn and Christine Vitrano defend the view that our well-being is dependent not on particular activities, accomplishments, or awards but on finding personal satisfaction while treating others with due concern.

The authors suggest that moral behavior is not necessary for happiness and does not ensure it. Yet they also argue that morality and happiness are needed for living well, and together suffice to achieve that goal. Cahn and Vitrano link their position to elements within both the Hellenistic and Hebraic traditions, in particular the views of Epicurus and lessons found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Written in an accessible style and illustrated with incisive vignettes drawn from history, literature, films, and everyday life, Happiness and Goodness is a compelling work of philosophy for anyone who seeks to understand the nature of a good life.

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How should we evaluate the success of each person's life? Countering the prevalent philosophical perspective on the subject, Steven M. Cahn and Christine Vitrano defend the view that our well-being is dependent not on particular activities, accomplishments, or awards but on finding personal satisfaction while treating others with due ...

Steven M. Cahn is professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has written or edited some fifty books, including Fate, Logic, and Time; God, Reason, and Religion; Saints and Scamps: Ethics in Academia; and From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor.Christine Vitrano is asso...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:136 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:June 9, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231172419

ISBN - 13:9780231172417

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Table of Contents

Foreword, by Robert B. TalissePreface1. Introduction2. Wasted Lives?3. Projects of Worth?4. Flourishing?5. Things That Matter?6. Morality and Happiness7. Morality and Unhappiness8. Character9. Appearing Moral10. God and Morality11. Heaven and Hell12. Moral Judgments13. Moral Standards14. Choosing the Experience Machine15. Happiness and Ignorance16. Assessing Achievement17. Pleasures and Pains18. Fear of the Divine19. Fear of Unfulfilled Desires20. Fear of Death21. Futility22. Living Well23. Satisfaction24. Concluding QuestionsNotesIndexAbout the Authors

Editorial Reviews

I can't remember the last time I read a book about ethics that was so fascinating.