Who Is The Happy Warrior Nussbaum Summary

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Martha C. Nussbaum analyzes the many definitions of many different philosophers in “Who Is the Happy Warrior” while also addressing the importance of their views. She is able to identify the various definitions of happiness that these philosophers have constructed by structuring her essay in forms of questions which are then eventually answered. Through her essay Nussbaum manages to connect happiness and philosophy into one single thought.
At the start of her essay, Nussbaum poses the question “What is Pleasure?” (Nussbaum, 107). She answers this question through Jeremy Bentham who claims pleasure to be “a single sensation” (Nussbaum, 107) which varies in “intensity, duration, certainty [...]” (Nussbaum, 108) However, it then becomes evident that Nussbaum disagrees with Bentham and begins to address any and all flaws found in his interpretation of happiness. While Bentham only discusses the “quantitative variables”(Nussbaum, 108) of pleasure he fails to acknowledge the “qualitative differences” (Nussbaum, 108). For example, the pain that ascends from physical injuries differ greatly from emotional pain that ascends from loss or defeat. Martha Nussbaum then poses the question of what happiness really is and through Aristotle’s own views answers that happiness is the
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Nussbaum. Since Nussbaum agreed with Aristotle’s claim that happiness was found in effortlessly doing good activities it is likely that she will also agree with Sonja Lyubomirsky’s claim that “40% intentional activity” (Lyubomirsky, 184) contributes to one’s happiness. However, Nussbaum may have some concerns and questions in regards to Lyubomirsky’s happiness test since it is subjective and doesn’t consider many other external factors such as interpersonal and intrapersonal experiences that could alter or interfere with the results and test as a