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Precis of Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life

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  1. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (hereafter NE). Translated by Terence Irwin. 2nd ed. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1999), 1097a15–1097b2.

  2. Ibid., 1095b 25.

  3. There are some exceptions to this claim. According to some religions, following the strictures of his faith without trying to understand them is the most worthwhile life for a human being. Even here, however, the reason given is that we are incapable of such understanding, and not that it would be worthless even if we had the capacity. After all, the being of highest worth, God, is depicted as supremely reality-oriented and autonomous – indeed, as realistic.

  4. L. W. Sumner, Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996), 156–83.

  5. Daniel M. Haybron, The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); Valerie Tiberius and Alicia Hall, “Normative Theory and Psychological Research: Hedonism, Eudaimonism, and Why it Matters,” Journal of Positive Psychology 5, no. 3 (May 2010): 212–225; Valerie Tiberius and Alexandra Plakias. “Well-Being,” in The Moral Psychology Handbook, edited by John Doris and the Moral Psychology Research Group (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 403–432.

  6. Shelley E. Taylor and Jonathon D. Brown, “Illusion and Well-Being: A Social Psychological Perspective on Mental Health,” Psychological Bulletin 103, no. 2 (1988): 193–210; and “Positive Illusions and Well-Being Revisited: Separating Fact from Fiction,” Psychological Bulletin 116, no. 1 (1994): 21–27.

  7. “Positive Illusions and Well-Being Revisited: Separating Fact from Fiction” (1994).

  8. Aristotle, op. cit. 1115 b 17–24.

  9. Bernard Williams, Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (London: Fontana, 1985).

  10. Brad Hooker, “Is Moral Virtue a Benefit to the Agent?” in How Should One Live?, edited by Roger Crisp (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996), 141–155.

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Correspondence to Neera K. Badhwar.

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Badhwar, N.K. Precis of Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life . J Value Inquiry 50, 185–193 (2016).

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  • Moral Virtue
  • Virtuous Action
  • Positive Illusion
  • Virtuous Behavior
  • Virtuous Life