Die Metaphysik des deutschen Idealismus by Martin Heidegger

By Martin Heidegger

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In that incorporating moral values would be a condition of any of these being a flat out and un-attenuated good. (iii) The identification of happiness with the final good is a relation between happiness and value which will not seem plausible if the relation is not understood in the right way or if either of the terms of the relation (happiness and value) are not understood in the right way. Each of these failures of understanding needs to be addressed. Happiness is not the final good in a sense that it is a value separate from all other values, to which all other values are merely a means and hence merely instrumentally valuable.

To say that something is good in this or that respect, or to say it is good in so far as thought is concerned, or to say it is good so far as it goes, is not yet to get to the bottom of the matter or to the end of the matter regarding its goodness. The bottom of the matter is what is flat-out un-attenuated good—what is The Final Good And The Final End 29 good absolutely, in all respects, and this in turn is what is good in respect of happiness. The contention that happiness is the final good pertains specifically to happiness conceived as flat out stable endorsement and emotional embrace of how one’s life is going.

One would have to hold that so long as something contributes to the production of this hedonic condition, it has flat out value. It needn’t contribute by being thought worthwhile, since worthwhile contentment is no longer part of what it is to be happy. Even if no one could endorse it and so value it in thought as contributing to contentment that they can own, it would still have flat out value. Valuing it in thought, therefore would add nothing to its being valuable. Another conception of happiness that would make it implausible as the final good is that happiness is constituted only by self-regarding values.

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