Is Virtue Only a Means to Happiness? (Objectivist Studies Book 4)

Is Virtue Only a Means to Happiness? (Objectivist Studies Book 4)

By Neera K. Badhwar (Author), Jay Friedenberg (Author), Lester H. Hunt (Author), David Kelley (Author), William R Thomas (Editor)

Is Virtue Only a Means to Happiness? assesses the nature of virtue and happiness in Ayn Rand's writings and those of her Objectivist followers.

In the title essay, Neera Badhwar argues virtues are constitutive components of happiness. Supporting this position, she cites recent psychological findings and calls into question Rand's dictum "emotions are not tools of cognition." Badhwar holds that a separation of emotion and cognition undermines a proper understanding of virtuous dispositions. She pits Rand against Rand to buttress her claims, arguing that Rand's novels contradict her non-fiction writings on these points.

This volume also includes three commentary essays by Jay Friendenberg, Lester H. Hunt, and David Kelley. And in a reply to these comments, Badhwar defends her meta-ethics and conception of virtue.

Neera K. Badhwar is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. Her articles have appeared in Ethics, Nous, American Philosophical Quarterly, Social Philosophy and Policy, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and other journals. Her anthology, Friendship: A Philosophical Reader, was published by Cornell University Press in 1993. Her most recent book, Well-Being: Happiness in an Objectively Worthwhile Life (Oxford University Press), was published in June 2014. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1986, and has been a Visiting Scholar or Fellow at several institutions: Dalhousie University, 1986–87; the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green State University, Spring 1994; the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, 1996–97; SUNY, Potsdam Fall 1999; Earhart Foundation 2010.