Happiness for Humans

By Dan Russell
Oxford University Press
August 2015
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From the publisher:
In Happiness for Humans, Daniel C. Russell takes a fresh look at happiness from a practical perspective: the perspective of someone trying to solve the wonderful problem of how to give himself a good life. From this perspective, 'happiness' is the name of a solution to that problem for practical deliberation. Russell's approach to happiness falls within a tradition that reaches back to ancient Greek and Roman philosophers--a tradition now called 'eudaimonism.' Beginning with Aristotle's seminal discussion of the role of happiness in practical reasoning, Russell asks what sort of good happiness would have to be in order to play the role in our practical economies that it actually does play. Looking at happiness from this perspective, Russell argues that happiness is a life of activity, with three main features: it is acting for the sake of ends we can live for, and living for them wisely; it is fulfilling for us, both as humans and as unique individuals; and it is inextricable from our connections with the particular persons, pursuits, and places that make us who we are. By returning to this ancient perspective on happiness, Russell finds new directions for contemporary thought about the good lives we want for ourselves.

Review:
"At a time when academic philosophy can often seem little more than an intellectual obstacle race for the fast-talking, pushy, and glib, we need books like Russell's to remind us what is really at stake." -- Ethics

ISBN: 9780198744153