to replace it with universal prescriptions, but rather to undermine our confidence in all such notions of universality. Similarly, envy usually "expresses a shallow attraction to glittering rewards" which our reflective judgement would find to have little value (75). Although both sources agree about this, Gilbert believes it is due to the experience simulator, in which humans can have experiences in their heads before trying them out in real life. In Chapter Four, a familiar cognitive account of the emotions saves them from being relegated to the position of slave under the whip of reason. It is of course notoriously tricky to attempt to define what is meant by a life being 'good' and Kupperman nowhere offers anything like a strict definition of the concept, to be given substance by the argument of the book. Citing research by Csikszentmihalyi, Kupperman argues in Chapter 1 that such pleasures are of higher subjective quality than passive pleasures, and that in 'losing' one's self work on an essay nest in activities that demand skill and alertness, the self is enriched, a paradox central to both eastern and western. Studies show that subjective well-being tends to return to what had been normal for those concerned, so that strategies for drastically increasing pleasures are unlikely to prove successful in the long run. Very often our judgements about value will not meet the standards required for knowledge, so Kupperman concedes much to the sceptic in this regard. Inevitably in a book of this nature, controversial issues are touched on and left; decisions have to be made about what can be assumed or passed over. It is here - the responsibility and self-directed work required for living a life one would reflectively judge to be worthwhile - that Kupperman's exploration is most rewarding.
Good life, sample Essays
Predictably, then, hedonism is rejected as the full story of what makes a life good. Despite this, he offers a brief but effective rebuttal of various sceptical claims (listed on 138-9) and argues that our awareness of the shortcomings of our value judgements is no reason to think knowledge always impossible. While, as we have seen, he argues that general connections can be drawn between virtue and goodness, his worry is that the kind of "easy generalizations" (ibid.) stated in the myths are usually flawed. In any case, however, some sketch of the parameters of the notion would have been helpful, and some of the tricky debates relegated to the Appendix would, I think, have been helpful (suitably edited) in the main body of the text. According to Kupperman, most people's idea of what is valuable in life is based on what they desire. "What the best Asian philosophy does much better than response essay to rice for thanksgiving summary many Western philosophies he says, "is give you a sense of the texture of life in the moments between those major choices, the things that make life worth living or not worth living, and also help. We all have some vision of what the good life should look like. But what would it mean to live the good life in the here and now, in the life were given, with all its warts, routines, and daily obligations? You have to look at the context, at whole lives.". While the book is not burdened with technical detail and references, short discussions in the Appendix explore the more controversial issues raised in the main text.
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