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Politics of happiness : connecting the philosophical ideas of Hegel, Nietzsche and Derrida to the political ideologies of happiness / Ross Abbinnett

Main Author Abbinnett, Ross Secondary Author Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 1770-1831
Nietzsche, Friedrich, 1844-1900
Derrida, Jacques, 1930-2004
Country Estados Unidos. Publication New York : Bloomsbury, cop. 2013 Description 195 p. ; 23 cm ISBN 978-1-4411-2081-6 CDU 321.01
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Monografia Biblioteca de Direito
BD 321.01 - A Available 443758
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This unique and engaging study argues that the Western concern with achieving happiness should be understood in terms of its relationship to the political ideologies that have emerged since the Enlightenment. To do so, each chapter examines the place that happiness occupies in the construction of ideologies that have formed the political terrain of the West, including liberalism, postmodernism, socialism, fascism, and religion. Throughout, Hegel's phenomenology, Nietzsche's genealogy, and Derrida's account of deconstruction as reactions to modernization are used to show that the politics of happiness are always a clash of fundamental ideas of belonging, overcoming, and ethical responsibility. Stressing that the concept of happiness lies at the foundation of political movements, the book also looks at its place in the current global order, analyzing the emergence of such ideas as affective democracy that challenge the conventional notions of privatized, acquisitive happiness.
Written in a clear manner, the work will appeal to political theory students and researchers looking for a critical and historical account of contemporary debates about the nature of happiness and ideology.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Aristotle understands happiness as the exercise of the distinctively human virtues, not as a mood or a feeling. The small polis, where fellow-citizens knew one another, might be conducive to the cultivation of character. The large, modern state, with its impersonality and the mass-life that lends itself to fleeting satisfactions and their conjuring by entrepreneurs public and private, makes Abbinnett (Univ. of Birmingham, UK) long for a less atomized, more "collective pursuit of the good life." Abbibbett sensibly rejects the ideologies that promise happiness wrongly understood. Staying entirely within the philosophic tradition that substituted history for Aristotelian natural right and the biblical God as its moral standards, Abbinnett interrogates not only Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Jacques Derrida but Arthur Schopenhauer, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, (especially) Karl Marx, Martin Heidegger, Carl Schmitt, and Emmanuel Levinas. He takes a position close to Theodor Adorno--rejecting the Absolute Spirit while also rejecting dialectical materialism, settling instead on an ever-evolving "spirit" (with a lower-case 's'). Connoisseurs of postmodernism--especially those of leftish leanings--will enjoy and profit from this book, which eschews the grander promises of utopianism while remaining hopeful for some other, more modest socialist proposals. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate and research collections. W. Morrisey Hillsdale College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Ross Abbinnett is Senior Lecturer in Social and Political Theory, University of Birmingham, UK. His main research interests lie in the areas of social and political theory, culture and aesthetics, and technology and society. He has published extensively in these fields, including Truth and Social Science (Sage, 1998), Culture and Identity (Sage, 2003), and Marxism After Modernity (Palgrave, 2006).

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