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Environmental Values

Happiness and the Good Life

John O'Neill

Environmental Values 17(2008): 125-144. doi: 10.3197/096327108X303819


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.


Happiness, welfare, Kahneman, narrative

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Do Meaningful Relationships with Nature Contribute to a Worthwhile Life?Dan Firth

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Do Meaningful Relationships with Nature Contribute to a Worthwhile Life?Dan Firth

How Much is that Ecosystem in the Window? The One with the Bio-diverse Trail. Clive L. Spash

Goodwill Toward Nature. Christopher Freiman

The Map of Moral Significance: A New Axiological Matrix for Environmental Ethics. Barbara Muraca

Value Typology in Cost-Benefit Analysis. Seth D. Baum

Virtues for the Anthropocene. Marcello di Paola

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