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Main page » Non-Fiction » A Brief History of Happiness

A Brief History of Happiness


A Brief History of Happiness

By: Nicholas White (University of California, Irvine)

White takes his readers on [a] journey, aiming to reach an appreciation of the nature of happiness. He splendidly suceeds in making the journey as fascinating as it deserves to be. White has produ...




In this brief history, philosopher Nicholas White reviews 2,500 years of philosophical thought about happiness.

  • Addresses key questions such as: What is happiness? Should happiness play such a dominant role in our lives? How can we deal with conflicts between the various things that make us happy?

  • Considers the ways in which major thinkers from antiquity to the modern day have treated happiness: from Plato's notion of the harmony of the soul, through to Nietzsche's championing of conflict over harmony.

  • Relates questions about happiness to ethics and to practical philosophy.

Table of Contents


1. Introducing the Subject

2. Conflicts, Perspectives, and the Identification of Happiness

3. Pleasure, Hedonism, and the Measurement of Happiness

4. Happiness as Structure and Harmony

5. Morality, Happiness, and Conflict

6. Happiness, Fact, and Value

7. Doing without the Concept

Glossary and List of Historical Figures




Nicholas P. White is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine.


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Tags: White, Brief, journey, History, Happiness