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What Is This Thing Called Happiness?$
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Fred Feldman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571178

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571178.001.0001

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What is This Thing Called Happiness?

What is This Thing Called Happiness?

(p.107) CHAPTER 6 What is This Thing Called Happiness?
What Is This Thing Called Happiness?

Fred Feldman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 contained criticism of sensory hedonism. Chapter 6 contains a defense of attitudinal hedonism about happiness. According to this theory, the atoms of happiness are episodes in which a person takes attitudinal pleasure in some state of affairs. Principles about attitudinal pleasure are presented, emphasizing how it differs from sensory pleasure. Attitudinal Hedonism about Happiness is explained and defended. Many writers seem to assume that ‘happy’ in ordinary English is multiply ambiguous. In Appendix C some typical claims of ambiguity are reviewed. In fact, there is not much evidence to support the claim that ‘happy’ is ambiguous. It appears that in its central uses in ordinary English, ‘happy’ is vague, but fundamentally univocal. To say that a person is happy means—roughly—that he takes on balance more attitudinal pleasure than displeasure in things.

Keywords:   sensory pleasure, attitudinal pleasure, Wendell, Dolores, the new mother, Bob, occurrent pleasure, intrinsic pleasure, momentary happiness level, attitudinal hedonism about happiness, AHH, Solon's Maxim

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