What is a/the “good life”? - hedonistic pleasure; avoidance of pain/stress; moral/virtuous life; simple life (voluntary simplicity, economic minimalism); contemplative live; search for knowledge, search for truth, search for understanding.
Are there measures of the good life? Does a good life have value? Who determines the value of a life? Can that value be stored for future use? Is action required to enter the race? Behavior? Does respect from others, or ourselves, play a role in realizing a good life?
Is “good” a matter of cognitive (reasoning) or non-cognitive (emotional) activity? What motivates us to define “good”, either in terms of an end or means? What keeps us riveted to / focused on the end? [See radio podcast of August 12th On Point radio show for discussion of emotional riveting.]
Obstacles? - resource limitations, variations in opportunity, cultural expectations, behaviors.
Do the possibilities of of a good life vary with the domain (e.g, personal/social, commercial, political)? Can excess success in one domain serve to offset a deficit, or shortcoming in another domain?
The “Active Life” - Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt, a early-mid 20th century political philosopher out of Germany presents a different partitioning of domains. Her concept of an “active life” is based on what we do in life and defines domains as labor, work, and action. She has taken license with the common usage for these three words, so one might do better with labeling them Activity A, Activity B, and Activity C. However, I will stick with her terms. In her terms labor refers to effort that goes into subsistence/survival. Work refers to effort to make things (tools/technology). And, action refers to those higher level activities such as political discourse. This effort at modernization notes that the burden of labor heavily on the shoulders of slaves and women. Work, as she calls it, refers to artisans making things. The action domain mostly left to landowners who have the leisure to actively participate in political discourse.
How do the foregoing questions play out in the "Active Life"?