Happiness and Goodness Philosophical Reflections on Living Well by Steven M. Cahn and Christine Vitrano Forward by Robert B.Talisse is a wonderful, intuitive, interesting and sunny book by Columbia Press.
Happiness as also expressed in the foreword by mr.Talisse is becoming with the time a real business. Rich people are searching for happiness asking to gurus; we are surrounded by a lot of books regarding happiness and how we should reach that mental state.
In this book through the words of ancient and modern philosophers it will be possible for the authors to try to understand where we are now in terms of values, in terms also of our personal perception of goodness and happiness, defining what it means for our society happiness and goodness and how, these two values, and these two sentiments are lived and felt pretty differently from person to person.
First of all there was Aristotle, who said that a man is happy when he is also ethically correct and a good person.
Did you notice that sometimes moral people are miserable and immoral ones are happy and cheerful?
Why is that?
Of course it depends by the personal moral values. A person could also be an immoral human being but the most cheerful one of this world because to him and his values and his mental scheme that one is the normality exactly like for a moral person is great to be good.
But...what and how can we define what it is good or bad? And why certain behaviors are classified by current philosophers bad while other ones good?
And why, as the authors will do in the book we make a comparison with the existences of two individuals, we would say that an existence is better than the other one? Because of more studies, money, a marriage?
We use, for classifying people, certain moral and ideal standards created by the society, but sometimes what make people happy is different from person to person; it is also possible the impossibility in this life of developing all the talents donated us by the case, or God.
I think that each of us bring with him/her a certain luggage of values created by the family where we were born in, social life, friends, culture, school, experiences we are experiencing in our life ad the sum of it creates the person.
Synthesizing what wanted to saying Epicurus: making wise judgements about good and bad is prudence.
The book analyzes God as well: does He exist? And with Him exists also Hell, Heaven and the Purgatory? If we are not catholic, but of another religion then will we be admitted in Heaven?
Why a soul of a devil person should spend all the time in Hell and the one of a good person in Heaven?
Beautiful, very good book for thinking about our current morality, and what it means being happy and being good for our society, and for past thinkers.
I thank Columbia University Press for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori