The Morality of Happiness

Paperback | April 13, 1995

byJulia Annas

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Ancient ethical theories, based on the notions of virtue and happiness, have struck many as an attractive alternative to modern theories. But we cannot find out whether this is true until we understand ancient ethics--and to do this we need to examine the basic structure of ancient ethicaltheory, not just the details of one or two theories. In this book, Annas brings together the results of a wide-ranging study of ancient ethical philosophy and presents it in a way that is easily accessible to anyone with an interest in ancient or modern ethics. She examines the fundamental notionsof happiness and virtue, the role of nature in ethical justification and the relation between concern for self and concern for others. Her careful examination of the ancient debates and arguments shows that many widespread assumptions about ancient ethics are quite mistaken. Ancient ethicaltheories are not egoistic, and do not depend for their acceptance on metaphysical theories of a teleological kind. Most centrally, they are recognizably theories of morality, and the ancient disputes about the place of virtue in happiness can be seen as akin to modern disputes about the demands ofmorality.

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From Our Editors

'A richly nuanced and exceptionally clear historical study... that will redefine current debates about 'virtue-ethics' and its differences from moral theory.

From the Publisher

Ancient ethical theories, based on the notions of virtue and happiness, have struck many as an attractive alternative to modern theories. But we cannot find out whether this is true until we understand ancient ethics--and to do this we need to examine the basic structure of ancient ethicaltheory, not just the details of one or two the...

From the Jacket

'A richly nuanced and exceptionally clear historical study... that will redefine current debates about 'virtue-ethics' and its differences from moral theory.

Julia Annas is at University of Arizona.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 9.17 × 6.14 × 1.1 inPublished:April 13, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195096525

ISBN - 13:9780195096521

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From Our Editors

'A richly nuanced and exceptionally clear historical study... that will redefine current debates about 'virtue-ethics' and its differences from moral theory.

Editorial Reviews

"The pick of the bunch this year....What is interesting and refreshing about it is not so much what Annas says (important though that is) as the approach she adopts....Every classicist who believes that our subject is the study not of the dead past but of a living part of our culture needs toread this book."--Greece and Rome