The Virtues of Happiness: A Theory of the Good Life

Hardcover | July 25, 2014

byPaul Bloomfield

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As children we learn life is unfair: bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. So, it is natural to ask, "Why play fairly in an unfair world? If being immoral will get you what you want and you know you can't get caught, why not do it?" The answers, as arguedherein, begin with the idea that morality and happiness are not in competition. If this is so, then we can see how immorality undermines its perpetrator's happiness: self-respect is necessary for happiness, and immorality undermines self-respect. As we see how our self-respect is conditional uponhow we respect others, we learn to evaluate and value ourselves, and others, appropriately. The central thesis is the result of combining the ancient Greek conception of happiness (eudaimonia) with a modern conception of self-respect. We become happy, we life the best life we can, only by becoming virtuous: by being as courageous, fair, temperate, and wise as can be. These are the virtuesof happiness. This book explains why it is bad to be bad and good to be good, and what happens to people's values as their practical rationality develops.

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As children we learn life is unfair: bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. So, it is natural to ask, "Why play fairly in an unfair world? If being immoral will get you what you want and you know you can't get caught, why not do it?" The answers, as arguedherein, begin with the idea that morality and hap...

Paul Bloomfield is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of Moral Reality (OUP 2001) and editor of Morality and Self-Interest (OUP 2008).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:July 25, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199827362

ISBN - 13:9780199827367

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Getting Our Bearings1. The Problem2. The Diagnosis3. The Solution4. Common Dialectical Ground5. The Argument from Ontology6. The Argument from Epistemology7. Objections and Conclusion2. Becoming Good1. The Paradox of Happiness2. The Most Important Thing in the World3. Taking Care of Yourself4. Beyond the Paradox of Happiness5. Developmental Practical Rationality6. Immorality as Immaturity3. Why It's Good To Be Good1. Human Nature and the Good Life2. Pleasure, Mood, and Self-Fulfillment3. Virtue4. Courage: Managing Danger5. Justice: Judging Fairly6. Temperance: Tempering Mettle7. Virtue, Luck, and Happiness8. Benefits of Morality9. Love is its Own Reward10. WisdomBibliographyIndex