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To Flourish or DestructA Personalist Theory of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure, and Evil$
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Christian Smith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226231952

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226232003.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022



(p.1) Introduction
To Flourish or Destruct

Christian Smith

University of Chicago Press

In the introduction, the author presents the motivations behind the book’s inquiry: the need to make good sense of life and the world, the need to find a correct approach to human beings that will look at what is “good”, not necessarily what is “right”, which is the main concern in social science recently. The chapter explains five models of human beings, classifies them as inadequate and then introduces critical realist personlism as the correct, realistic and theoretically coherent view. The chapter explores the advantages personalism brings to sociological theory, one of the most important being that it brings together the two sides of humanity, the light and the dark, into one coherent picture, and also emphasizes the importance of ontology. The chapter ends by considering the book as a work of retrieval of the reality of a natural human good and a real human telos.

Keywords:   critical realism, destructiveness, evil, human good, human nature, ontology, personalism, social science, telos

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