January 21, 2016 - 12:00 am
What makes life worth living? Why are some lives better than others? What are the best things in life? This presentation will address these philosophical questions in an accessible and entertaining way. More specifically, it will argue that there isn’t just one thing that’s ultimately good: not just pleasure or philosophical contemplation but many things: happiness, knowledge, achievement, moral virtue, love, and more. An ideal life would contain all of them, but different mixtures are suited to people with different talents and opportunities. Though some lives are better than others, there isn’t a single kind of life that everyone should lead. The presentation will then examine some of the different basic goods in detail, such as pleasure or good feeling (what is it, and what are its different forms?), knowledge (what subjects are most worth knowing about?), achievement (how do you have an impact on the world?), and moral virtue (what do its different forms have in common?). We all want to live well and to help the people we care about do the same. The presentation will explore what that means and what the basic components of a good life are.