Christian Humanist Profiles 80: A Person as a Lifetime

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It’s easy enough to say when your friends are doing good things and your enemies bad, but moral philosophy takes on the tasks of saying what makes an act, a habit, or even a lifetime better or worse than it might otherwise have been and of suggesting the extent to which it matters whether the doer is friend or foe.  Greek moral philosophy in particular, which inherits from Sophocles the warning to call no person happy until that person is dead, wonders what it would mean to call the dead happy.  It might sound like a morbid thought, but Stephanie Semler’s recent book A Person as a Lifetime explores notions of narrative, persistence, and continuity in Aristotle’s thought, and careful attention to the Nicomachean Ethics and others of Aristotle’s treatises leads a reader into some fascinating alternatives both to overly-cerebral accounts of personhood and to theories that tend to isolate acts from the long span of human life.  Today Christian Humanist Profiles is glad to welcome her to the show.

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