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The Joy of Duty: Human Happiness and Ethical Obligation

Title: The Joy of Duty
Subtitle: Human Happiness and Ethical Obligation
Subject Classification: Psychology, Philosophy, Morals, Counselling
BIC Classification: JM, HPQ, JSKN2
BISAC Classification: PHI005000, PSY010000, PSY045020
Binding: Hardback, Paperback, ebook, pp.216
Publication date: 16th November 2022
ISBN (Hardback): 978-1-871891-51-5
ISBN (Paperback): 978-1-80441-310-4
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-871891-52-2

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A corporate executive is miserable and seeks the help of a psychotherapist. A college student is unhappy in her current major and goes to her academic advisor. A married couple struggles with discord and seeks the help of a licensed counsellor. In each case, the diagnosis and prescription will likely be the same: you are miserable because you are not doing what you want. Your path to happiness thus lies in figuring out what you enjoy doing, coming up with a strategy to satisfy these desires, and then executing your plan. This is the standard approach to happiness used in much of today’s counselling and psychotherapeutic practice. The Socratic, Stoic, and Confucian philosophical traditions tell a different story: you are miserable because you are not doing what you must.

Through historical and contemporary case studies, analyses of key novels, reviews of modern psychological research, interviews with struggling people, and close readings of philosophical texts, The Joy of Duty  illuminates the intimate connection between human joy and the performance of ethical obligation.


Author: Dr. James J. Dillon is Professor of Psychology, University of West Georgia, USA


This title is currently being reviewed. Please check back for further updates in due course. 


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