Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 23 July 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers a number of contributions by continental philosophers who contrast the idea of happiness with the experience of suffering. In light of the fact there are other chapters in this volume dealing with classic philosophy as well as with early continental contributions, this chapter focuses exclusively on nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophers and in particular on phenomenological and existential authors, excluding poststructural and postmodern contributions. The main theme of the chapter is whether the pursuit of happiness can be philosophically justified without taking its opposite of suffering into account. While the definition of happiness used is different for each of the authors discussed, they each argue against happiness as a valid objective of human existence. This chapter will argue that continental philosophers, in line with Athenian philosophers, have generally maintained that it is important to take a balanced view of happiness and suffering as the one is not possible without the other.

Keywords: happiness, suffering, existential philosophy, phenomenology, meaning, negatives, death, nothingness, freedom, values, beliefs, dialectics

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.