Dissertation, San Francisco State University (2016)

Justin Kitchen
California State University, Northridge
In this paper, I will argue that 'being good' positively correlates to 'being happy.' First, I will clarify how I’ll be using the word ‘morality’ and the phrase ‘being good’. Second, I will claim that moral goodness is developed and exercised as a kind of practical skill. This will allow me to propose that ‘being good’ – like other complex and engaging skills – entails the elicitation of a kind of flow experience. Third, I will propose that ‘being good’ involves achieving what I'll call ‘vertical coherency’ within one’s life and that this provides sustained engagement (‘flow’) and meaning while exercising moral goodness. Lastly, I will show why the kind of happiness that we truly want for ourselves and those we care about emerges from a moral engagement – a ‘good flow’ – of the sort described.
Keywords flow experience  cognitive science  phenomenology  happiness  well-being
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Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics.L. W. Sumner - 1996 - Oxford University Press.

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