The Good Life

Roger Teichmann

in Nature, Reason, and the Good Life

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606177
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729461 | DOI:
The Good Life

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Being a good human being is necessary but not sufficient for leading a good life: as Aristotle insisted, some ‘external’ goods are needed for flourishing (or happiness). Is happiness individualistic or socially conditioned? Certain forms of individualism are criticized, as are relativism and the notion of a lifestyle; though pluralism about possible forms of happiness is defended. Is happiness an end-state or a process? Behind this question lies a deep tension in us, between the impulse to do and the impulse to rest, which itself has to do with interconnections between the good and the bad. Room is made for both impulses by a kind of contemplative attitude, exemplified not only by Aristotle's theōria but also by such activities as tending the incurably sick. This attitude, and a capacity to locate oneself in a bigger whole, are parts of happiness, and can lessen death's sting.

Keywords: good life; happiness; flourishing; Aristotle; individualism; relativism; pluralism; contemplation; death

Chapter.  16261 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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