Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life

Hardcover | July 16, 2014

byNeera K. Badhwar

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In Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life, Neera K. Badhwar offers a new argument for the ancient claim that well-being as the highest prudential good - eudaimonia - consists of happiness in a virtuous life. Virtue is a source of happiness, but happiness also requires external goods. Theargument takes into account recent work on happiness, well-being, and virtue, and defends a neo-Aristotelian conception of virtue as an integrated, but limited, intellectual-emotional-action disposition. These conceptions of well-being and virtue are argued to be widely-held and compatible withexperimental psychology. Badhwar's main argument for the thesis that well-being as the highest prudential good requires virtue is as follows: (i) well-being as the highest prudential good requires an objectively worthwhile life; (ii) such a life entails realism as a character trait; (iii) realism entails a life of virtue;(iv) hence well-being as the highest prudential good requires a life of virtue. A realistic person understands important aspects of her own life and human life in general, and is disposed to act on her understanding. Her understanding springs from her autonomy and reality-orientation, i.e., herdisposition to think for herself and seek truth or understanding. But the demands of virtue in the face of our emotional and cognitive limitations make complete virtue impossible, and this is one reason why complete well-being is also impossible.

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In Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life, Neera K. Badhwar offers a new argument for the ancient claim that well-being as the highest prudential good - eudaimonia - consists of happiness in a virtuous life. Virtue is a source of happiness, but happiness also requires external goods. Theargument takes into account recent work on ha...

Neera K. Badhwar is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma and is affiliated with the Departments of Philosophy and Economics at George Mason University. She is the author of articles on friendship, virtue, self-interest, market societies, and other topics in ethics and social-political philosophy and the editor...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:July 16, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195323270

ISBN - 13:9780195323276

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. Introduction2. Well-Being as the Highest Prudential Good3. Well-Being: From Subjectivity to Objectivity4. Autonomy and Reality-Orientation5. Is Realism Really Bad for You? A Realistic Response6. Virtue7. Happy Villains, Stoic Sages, External Goods, and the Primacy of Virtue8. Conclusion: Taking StockBibliographyIndex