In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government
In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government begins by examining James Madison’s statement: “A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can best be attained.” Murray exhibits a thoughtful, accessible writing style as he considers such basic, important questions as whether individual efforts or government reform should be responsible for dealing with society’s problems. Drawing from his minimalist-government viewpoint, Murray proposes that government not try to force happiness on the people with federal policies or programs but, rather, that it provide conditions that enable people to pursue happiness on their own.
Murray also proposes that the pursuit of happiness be used as a framework for analyzing the efficacy of public policy, and he comes to the conclusion that Jeffersonian democracy is still the best way to run society, even today’s complex society.
In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2013).
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
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Table of Contents
- Part One: “The Happiness of the People”
- 1: Measuring Success in Social Policy
- 2: Coming to Terms with Happiness
- Part Two: When There Is Bread
- 3: Enabling Conditions and Thresholds
- 4: Material Resources
- 5: Safety
- 6: Dignity, Self-Esteem, and Self-Respect
- 7: Enjoyment, Self-Actualization, and Intrinsic Rewards
- Part Three: Toward the Best of All Possible Worlds
- 8: Policy and an Idea of Man
- 9: Asking a New Question, Getting New Answers: Evaluating Results
- 10: Asking a New Question, Getting New Answers: Designing Solutions
- 11: Searching for Solutions That Work: Changing the Metaphor
- 12: Little Platoons
- 13: “To Close the Circle of Our Felicities”