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To Flourish or Destruct – A Personalist Theory of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure, and Evil - Chicago Scholarship Online
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To Flourish or Destruct: A Personalist Theory of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure, and Evil

Christian Smith


This book advances a personalist account of human beings to help us better understand and explain human persons, motivations, interests, and the social life to which they give rise. It offers an alternative to the standard views in contemporary sociology and most of the rest of social science. This book seeks to answer three big questions: What basic motivations and interests generate and direct human action? What is by nature good for human beings—that is, what are real human goods? How should we understand and explain the lack of goodness—sometimes even the definite destructiveness and evil— ... More

Keywords: critical realism, destructiveness, evil, happiness, human goods, human motivations, human nature, personalism, personhood, telos

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226231952
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226232003.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christian Smith, author
University of Notre Dame