Human Happiness and Morality

A Brief Introduction to Ethics

By Robert F. Almeder
(Prometheus Books, Paperback, 9781573927604, 212pp.)

Publication Date: January 2000

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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What makes a right act right? Why should I be moral? What is human happiness and how do I attain it? These questions are the foundations of ethics and they form the backdrop for all discussions of the subject.

In Human Happiness and Morality, noted philosopher Robert Almeder provides lucid introductory explanations of the major ethical theories and traditions, and looks at the answers emerging from the three basic questions. Divided into four parts, the book first details proposed answers to "What makes a right act right?" including a discussion of consequentialist and deontological theories. Rather than taking sides in the debate as most texts do, Almeder admits that "we face daunting difficulties" when trying to decide what makes an an act right or wrong. Trying to face these difficulties honestly gives intensity to ethical discussion.

The second and third sections of the book ask whether or not one must be moral, and what is the nature of human happiness and how one attains it. Almeder imparts a clear understanding of what is needed for happiness and the place of traditional morality in that pursuit. In closing, the author details simple Stoic rules for happy living and shows how to live a good life despite the existence of unhappiness and failure in others.

About the Author

Robert Almeder is a professor of philosophy at Georgia State University, the coeditor (with Milton Snoeyenbos and James Humber) of Business Ethics, and the author of many scholarly works.

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