What Price Eudaimonia?

Currently reviewing Edward F. Fischer’s book The Good Life: Aspiration, dignity, and the anthropology of well-being (Stanford University Press, 2014) for issue 1/2017 of Sight and Life magazine.

Fischer argues that: “If well-being is more than just being well, then perhaps the good life is not a state to be obtained but an ongoing aspiration for something better that gives meaning to life’s pursuits. In this view, striving for the good life involves the arduous work of becoming, of trying to live a life that one deems worthy, becoming the sort of person that one desires.” It is the search for a fulfilled life – eudaimonia, in the Aristotelian sense – rather than the pursuit of mere hedonistic pleasure. Prof. Fischer asks: “What price are we willing to pay to be virtuous?” and presents a world view in which the moral drivers behind economic activity have a power that transcends the purely financial.

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