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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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Toward a Theory of Flourishing

Toward a Theory of Flourishing

(p.201) 6 Toward a Theory of Flourishing
To Flourish or Destruct

Christian Smith

University of Chicago Press

This chapter develops personalism on the question of the purpose of human life, which the author argues is human flourishing. The six basic goods mentioned in chapter 5 are here said to serve this larger purpose of human life, this telos. The happiness and flourishing can also be referred to as eudaimonia, as Aristotle called it, and is life’s final goal in itself. It is claimed that such goal can be accomplished at a personal level by developing and actualizing what people by nature are. The account presented emphasizes that personal flourishing is dependent upon a set of necessary personal and social-structural conditions that make it possible, and it is not uniform but diverse depending on the human. All in all, this chapter introduces the bright, “up-side” of personal being: humans enjoy the capacity, tendency, and often experience of developing their myriad real powers of personhood to maturity and expression in existence, toward flourishing.

Keywords:   Aristotle, eudaimonia, flourishing, human goods, maturity, personalism, personhood, purpose of human life, telos

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