The Quality of Life

The Quality of Life : Aristotle Revised

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Description

The Quality of Life: Aristotle Revised presents a philosophical theory about the constituents of human well-being. The principal idea is that what Aristotle calls 'external goods' - wealth, reputation, power - have at most an indirect bearing on the quality of our lives. Starting with Aristotle's thoughts about this topic, Kraut increasingly modifies (and occasionally rejects) that stance. He argues that the way in which we experience the world is what
well-being consists in. A good internal life comprises, in part, pleasure but far more valuable is the quality of our emotional, intellectual, social, and perceptual experiences. These offer the potential for a richer and deeper quality of life than that which is available to many other animals. A good human life
is immeasurably better than that of a simple creature that feels only the pleasures of nourishment; even if it felt pleasure for millions of years, human life would be superior. In opposition to contemporary discussions of well-being, which often appeal to a thought experiment devised by Robert Nozick, Kraut concludes that the quality of our lives consists entirely in the quality of our experiences. While others hold that we must live in 'the real world' to live well and that one's interior
life has little or no value on its own, Kraut's interpretation of this thought experiment supports the opposite conclusion.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 163 x 235 x 20mm | 544g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198828845
  • 9780198828846

Table of contents

1: The Oyster and the Experience Machine: Two Puzzles in Value Theory
2: Well-Being and Ethical Virtue
3: Experientialism and the Experience Machine
4: Well-Being and Time
5: Variations on Aristotelian Themes
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About Richard Kraut

Richard Kraut was educated at the University of Michigan and Princeton University. He has taught in the Philosophy Departments at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University, where he is Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor in the Humanities. His recent books in value theory are Against Absolute Goodness (Oxford 2011) and What is Good and Why (Harvard 2007).
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