Originally posted in our October 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter.
Following on from our discussion of virtues and character development, we move into a discussion of ethics. An exciting resurgence of Aristotle’s ethics, Neo-Aristotelianism, provides a deeper understanding of how we develop ethics. Much has been written about Aristotle’s good and virtuous life. And, there is a movement among policymakers, psychologists, and philosophers towards these teachings again. The goal of eudaimonia, or the highest form of welfare and well-being a human can achieve, is at the core of this philosophical movement.
“The good life, Aristotle argued, is the life that develops our nature to its fullest potential so that it achieves flourishing or eudaimonia. Ethics, therefore, needs to be based on good solid psychology.”
Neo-Aristotelianism sees an interesting insertion of modern psychology with classic philosophy. Indeed, the founders of cognitive behavior therapy found many truths in Aristotle’s writings on well-being. As we review how we connect with society and ourselves, perhaps this politics of optimism can offer us a guiding light.