Friday, June 16, 2006

WELL-BEING AND PERFECTION, a meaningful dychotomy?/2

This post is just an addition to my previous post.

NOTICE that at the end of his example quoted in this post Sumner writes:

"What you are now doing may develop your capacities less, but it leads to a more satisfying and fulfilling life for you."

Should we take this as an possible interpretation of the story Sumner tolds us earlier or as a summary of it true of it by stipulation?

As an interpretation it is wrong because I don't see the second part of the story as an illustration of a person whose capacities are less engaged than before (more capacities may be thought to be engaged in the second kind of life than in the first.)

If it is a summary, true by stipulation, it would only prove that a particular ideal of perfection (developing one's capacities) is wrong. If one takes it to suggest that the second part of this person's life contains less perfection then the first, it becomes question begging.

Why is it question begging? Think about what the author says, it is in virtue of, that this guy finds his new life satisfying and fulfilling. The writer characterizes the new life as being peaceful and relaxing. But "peaceful" and "relaxing" are just objective features of a life, (just as "engaging rational thought" or "rewarding in terms of career"), and I cannot see why they should not be included into a perfectionist ideal. (Which would explain what makes the new life a more fulfilling and satisfying one for this guy to live.)

1 comment:

John said...
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