The Good Life and the Greater Good in a Global Context (Hardcover)
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The Good Life and the Greater Good in a Global Context offers a timely contribution to the debates about the good life that surround us every day in the media, politics, the humanities, and social sciences. The authors' examine the relationship between the good life and the greater good as represented across different genres, media, cultures, and disciplines. This enables them to develop a framework of values that transcends the overly rational and individualistic model of the good life advanced by neoliberalism and the "happiness industry." Thus, over and against normative conceptualizations of the good life that reduce meaning to money, creativity to consumption, and compassion to self-help, the contributors propose an ethically charged philosophy of living that views the care for the self, for the other, and for the planet as the catalysts of true human flourishing. In addition to recovering the original usage of "the good life" from classical thought-especially the Aristotelian understanding of eudaimonia as living well and doing well-the essays gathered here highlight its entanglement with distinctly modern ideas of happiness, wellbeing, flourishing, progress, revolution, democracy, the American Dream, utopia, and sustainability. As such, the essays capture the breadth and depth of the conversation about the good life that is of central importance to how we relate to the past, engage the present, and envision the future.
About the Author
Laura Savu Walker is adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina.