The Quest for the Good Life: Ancient Philosophers on Happiness

Hardcover | November 8, 2015

EditorOyvind Rabbas, Eyjolfur K. Emilsson, Hallvard Fossheim

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How should I live? How can I be happy? What is happiness, really? These are perennial questions, which in recent times have become the object of diverse kinds of academic research. Ancient philosophers placed happiness at the centre of their thought, and we can trace the topic through nearly amillennium. While the centrality of the notion of happiness in ancient ethics is well known, this book is unique in that it focuses directly on this notion, as it appears in the ancient texts. Fourteen papers by an international team of scholars map the various approaches and conceptions found fromthe Pre-Socratics through Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic Philosophy, to the Neo-Platonists and Augustine in late antiquity. While not promising a formula that can guarantee a greater share in happiness to the reader, the book addresses questions raised by ancient thinkers that are still of deepconcern to many people today: Do I have to be a morally good person in order to be happy? Are there purely external criteria for happiness such as success according to received social norms or is happiness merely a matter of an internal state of the person? How is happiness related to the stages oflife and generally to time? In this book the reader will find an informed discussion of these and many other questions relating to happiness.

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How should I live? How can I be happy? What is happiness, really? These are perennial questions, which in recent times have become the object of diverse kinds of academic research. Ancient philosophers placed happiness at the centre of their thought, and we can trace the topic through nearly amillennium. While the centrality of the not...

Oyvind Rabbas teaches philosophy at the University of Oslo. His area of specialization is ancient philosophy, particularly Plato and Aristotle, but he has a general interest in the history of philosophy, especially ethics, as well as in contemporary ethics. His publications include papers on Plato and Aristotle, as well as translations...

other books by Oyvind Rabbas

Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.96 inPublished:November 8, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198746989

ISBN - 13:9780198746980

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Svavar Hrafn Svavarsson: On Happiness and Godlikeness before Socrates2. Julia Annas: Plato's Defence of Justice: the Wrong Kind of Reason?3. Panos Dimas: Wanting to do what is just in the Gorgias4. Oyvind Rabbas: Eudaimonia, human nature, and normativity: Reflections on Aristotle's project in Nicomachean Ethics Book I5. Hallvard Fossheim: Aristotle on happiness and old age6. Gabriel Richardson Lear: Aristotle on Happiness and Long Life7. Gosta Gronroos: Why is Aristotle's vicious person miserable?8. Panos Dimas: Epicurus on Pleasure, Desire and Friendship9. Katerina Ierodiakonou: How feasible is the Stoic conception of eudaimonia?10. Svavar Hrafn Svavarsson: The Pyrrhonian Idea of a Good Life11. Alexandrine Schniewind: Plotinus' way of defining 'eudaimonia' in Ennead I 4 [46] 1-312. Eyjolfur Kjalar Emilsson: On happiness and time13. Miira Tuominen: Why Do We Need Other People to Be Happy? Happiness and Concern for Others in Aspasius and Porphyry13. Christian Tornau: Happiness in this Life? Augustine on the principle that virtue is self-sufficient for happinessBibliographyIndex