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Happiness and the Good Life


  • John O'Neill


Holland argues that environmental deliberation should return to classical questions about the nature of the good life, understood as the worthwhile life. Holland's proposal contrasts with the revived hedonist conception of the good life which has been influential on environmentalism. The concept of the worthwhile life needs to be carefully distinguished from those of the happy life and the dutiful life. Holland's account of the worthwhile life captures the narrative dimension of human well-being which is revealed but inadequately addressed by hedonic research. Environmental concerns are better understood from a non-hedonist perspective. An Aristotelian version of this perspective also offers the institutional focus which Holland suggests is required in environmental deliberation.

Suggested Citation

  • John O'Neill, 2008. "Happiness and the Good Life," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 17(2), pages 125-144, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev17:ev1707

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    More about this item


    Happiness; welfare; Kahneman; narrative;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being


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