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The Morality of Happiness - Julia Annas

The Morality of Happiness

Paperback Published: 23rd March 1995
ISBN: 9780195096521
Number Of Pages: 512

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Ancient ethical theories, based on the notions of virtue and happiness, have struck many as an attractive alternative to modern theories. But we cannot find out whether this is true until we understand ancient ethics--and to do this we need to examine the basic structure of ancient ethical theory, not just the details of one or two theories. In this book, Annas brings together the results of a wide-ranging study of ancient ethical philosophy and presents it in a way that is easily accessible to anyone with an interest in ancient or modern ethics. She examines the fundamental notions of happiness and virtue, the role of nature in ethical justification and the relation between concern for self and concern for others. Her careful examination of the ancient debates and arguments shows that many widespread assumptions about ancient ethics are quite mistaken. Ancient ethical theories are not egoistic, and do not depend for their acceptance on metaphysical theories of a teleological kind. Most centrally, they are recognizably theories of morality, and the ancient disputes about the place of virtue in happiness can be seen as akin to modern disputes about the demands of morality.

Industry Reviews

"A richly nuanced and exceptionally clear historical study....A learned, provocative study that will redefine current debates about 'virtue-ethics' and its differences from moral theory. Strongly recommended for all college and university libraries."--Choice "Annas presents both a brilliant analysis of ancient ethical theory and a powerfully argued defense of the priorities and approaches taken by ancient philosophers to ethical questions. Her mastery of a wide range of ancient (and modern) texts along with her skilled exposition of philosophical argument makes this an outstanding book...It will be required reading for any scholar of ancient ethical thought, and contemporary moral philosophers will find rich insights to bring back to their work as well....The Morality of Happiness will generously repay thoughtful reading. It is distinguished both by the comprehensive scope of its general thesis and by the subtlety of its details." --Bryn Mawr Classical Review "[An] admirable book....This is an important book. Many of Annas's claims will provoke scholarly controversy for some time to come; in the meantime, the book will be a tremendous help to those who want to understand the development of ancient ethics as a whole."--Times Educational Supplement "[An] extremely worthwhile book."--International Philosophical Quarterly "This ambitious, detailed survey...is at once unusually broad in its treatment of the varieties of Greek ethics, satisfyingly deep in its analysis of individual theories, and appropriately systematic throughout."--Religious Studies Review "A richly nuanced and exceptionally clear historical study....A learned, provocative study that will redefine current debates about 'virtue-ethics' and its differences from moral theory. Strongly recommended for all college and university libraries."--Choice "Annas presents both a brilliant analysis of ancient ethical theory and a powerfully argued defense of the priorities and approaches taken by ancient philosophers to ethical questions. Her mastery of a wide range of ancient (and modern) texts along with her skilled exposition of philosophical argument makes this an outstanding book...It will be required reading for any scholar of ancient ethical thought, and contemporary moral philosophers will find rich insights to bring back to their work as well....The Morality of Happiness will generously repay thoughtful reading. It is distinguished both by the comprehensive scope of its general thesis and by the subtlety of its details." --Bryn Mawr Classical Review "[An] admirable book....This is an important book. Many of Annas's claims will provoke scholarly controversy for some time to come; in the meantime, the book will be a tremendous help to those who want to understand the development of ancient ethics as a whole."--Times Educational Supplement "[An] extremely worthwhile book."--International Philosophical Quarterly "This ambitious, detailed survey...is at once unusually broad in its treatment of the varieties of Greek ethics, satisfyingly deep in its analysis of individual theories, and appropriately systematic throughout."--Religious Studies Review "This is a splendid and important book....Her discussions of particular issues are often novel and always stimulating....This is a most valuable contribution to the history of ancient ethics and, more generally, to the history of ancient philosophy. It will surely receive the close attention and discussion it deserves."--The Philosophical Review "The pick of the bunch this year....What is interesting and refreshing about it is not so much what Annas says (important though that is) as the approach she adopts....Every classicist who believes that our subject is the study not of the dead past but of a living part of our culture needs to read this book."--Greece and Rome

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. v
Introductionp. 3
The Basic Ideasp. 25
Making Sense of My Life as a Wholep. 27
The Virtuesp. 47
Justification and the Appeal to Naturep. 133
Nature and Naturalismp. 135
Aristole: Nature and Mere Naturep. 142
The Stoics: Human Nature and the Point of View of the Universep. 159
Antiochus: the Intuitive Viewp. 180
The Epicureans: Rethinking What is Naturalp. 188
The Sceptics: Accepting What is Naturalp. 201
Uses of Naturep. 214
The Good Life and the Good Lives of Othersp. 221
The Good of Othersp. 223
Finding Room for Other-Concernp. 227
Self-Concern and the Sources and Limits of Other-Concernp. 249
Justicep. 291
Self-Interest and Moralityp. 322
Revising Your Prioritiesp. 327
Happiness, Success and What Mattersp. 329
Epicurus: Virtue, Pleasure and Timep. 334
The Sceptics: Untroubledness Without Beliefp. 351
Aristotle: an Unstable Viewp. 364
Theophrastus and the Stoics: Forcing the Issuep. 385
Aristotelian Responsesp. 412
Happiness and the Demands of Virtuep. 426
Conclusionp. 437
Morality, Ancient and Modernp. 439
Cast of Charactersp. 457
Primary Sourcesp. 465
Secondary Sourcesp. 469
Index Locorump. 484
General Indexp. 494
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195096521
ISBN-10: 0195096525
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 23rd March 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.61 x 15.24  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.7

Earn 147 Qantas Points
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