Kant on Happiness in Ethics

By Victoria S. Wike

Subjects: Ethics
Series: SUNY series in Ethical Theory
Paperback : 9780791419748, 194 pages, July 1994
Hardcover : 9780791419731, 194 pages, July 1994

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Table of contents





1. The Definition of Happiness

2. The Negative Role of Happiness As Principle

3. The Positive Role of Happiness As Natural End

4. The Positive Role of Happiness As Means

5. The Positive Role of Happiness as Part of  Moral End (the Highest Good)

6. Problems with the Highest Good and Consequences of the Highest Good for Happiness





This book provides a comprehensive analysis of Kant's treatment of happiness in ethics. It considers the definition of happiness and the possible roles happiness may serve in ethics. It argues against critics who maintain that Kant's deontological ethic rejects happiness and against critics who assert that Kant's ethic is, in fact, consequential and concerned above all with ends such as happiness. By pointing to a system that organizes Kant's various claims about happiness, the book supports the view that happiness has positive roles to play in Kant's ethic.

Victoria S. Wike is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University of Chicago.


"People who work in Kant very often end up sounding like him, which is not good. While detailed and carefully argued, Wike's book is quite readable, written with economy and clarity. " — R. Z. Friedman, University of Toronto