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Lecture 8

ANT365H5 Lecture 8: ANT365 – Lecture 8

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Jack Sidnell

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ANT365 – Lecture 8 The good life Mattingly’s book – what does she mean by moral laboratories? ^what makes a person the person that he/she is? ^what are the possibilities of self-cultivation and how does it happen? Idea of the good life – invoking ancient ethical tradition eudaimonia which can be understood as “flourishing” ^ancient philosophers saw connection between eudaimonia and the cultivation of virtue ^central concept in Aristotelian ethics and political philosophy – translates to practical or ethical wisdom Mattingly says that the question of how to live a good life is directly correlated to ethics and morality ^ex. African American parents with children who suffer from chronic illnesses – parents find themselves in a quest to envision a new life or to become different people ^people try to create a good lives for themselves and for their children and this not only involves changing things about the way you live but also changing yourself Living a good life goes beyond learning – must act in accordance with laws and rules ^also distancing herself from a focus on single acts – she is concerned with persons or selves ^do people reconstruct themselves to live a good life? First person virtue ethics First person virtue ethics focuses on particular senses and occasions as they serve for what she refers to as “moral laboratories” and particular people and their efforts to live a good life ^a person is always an “I” – impossible to make decisions from a totally objective position ^first person contrasts with the third person Can see the character of Mattingly’s approach through 3 subheadings Self and narrative The “Self” at the centre of ethics ^Mattingly’s notion of the self is “thick” – selves that are
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